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Is Email Encryption Important for Dental Practices?

Here at Darkhorse Tech it is up to us and our clients (owners of Dental Practices) to protect patient data (as governed by HIPAA).  In the partnership we have with our clients we do everything in our power to pre-emptively cover their HIPAA compliance.  Many of the systems we rely on are non-negotiable (to best protect practices) while others require the direction of our clients to make the ultimate decision. Email encryption can take many forms however, not all email encryption is created equal, if you are reading this you may already be familiar with cumbersome encryption options that aren’t intuitive, require extra steps out of the sender and the recipient and to top it all off, can get expensive.  While this article is focused on the importance of email encryption, if you would like to discuss the option we recommend to all of our clients (intuitive, no added steps, HIPAA compliant, affordable), please reach out to us.

What Is Email Encryption?

 

In the simplest terms (aside from the upcoming use of a 6 syllable word) email encryption takes an email and renders it indecipherable to any unintended recipient of the communication.

Which Emails Should My Office Encrypt?

The short answer here is all of them.  By ensuring that all communication is encrypted you are making sure that nothing slips through the cracks, ePHI is protected even if the sender neglects to realize they are sending it.  By encrypting all messages, you are also creating an SOP with the greatest likelihood of success.  While decryption is not impossible it is certainly much more difficult when you don’t know what to look for, by encrypting all messages you are not pointing out which messages contain sensitive data.

Protect Your Patients & Your Practice

Attacks on the healthcare sector (including Dental practices) are growing at an exponential rate.  With a recent warning from the highest level of the U.S. government, it doesn’t look like that will be slowing down any time soon.  Cyber criminals are looking to exploit vulnerabilities within Dental practices which, grant them access to sensitive data.  Sensitive data can include personally identifiable information, passwords, payment information, dental and medical records and more.  Any of these items in the hands of someone looking to exploit your patients and/or your practice can be detrimental in a variety of ways.

If you lose data to an attack, you risk extortion, HIPAA fines, patient mistrust, downtime, lost revenue, lost reputation… the list goes on.  While email encryption is not something that you were thinking of when you got into Dentistry, if you don’t take it seriously you risk thinking about it on your way out of Dentistry.

About Darkhorse Tech

Whether you’re just starting out or a well-established organization, Darkhorse Tech has the experience and technology to help get you moving, cut costs, and streamline your operations via unlimited IT support. We are here to help you do what you do best: focus on providing top-notch care and service for patients – not dealing with IT problems, lag time spent talking with technical support, or complicated technological mishaps. Unlimited IT support services help the whole team work efficiently without worrying about significant system issues or constant interruptions.

Our additional security services include:

  • Unlimited Remote and/or On-Site IT Support of All Your Hardware and Software
  • Improved Network Performance and Security
  • HIPAA Compliant Off-Site and Local Backup Service (Darkhorse Secure Backup)
  • Managed Antivirus, Anti-Malware, and Anti-Ransomware (Darkhorse Security Products)
  • Compliance & Security Laws Standards
  • Microsoft Security Patch Management
  • Vendor Management: We will be on the phone, not your employees
  • Secure, Remote Access to Your Office
  • Firewall Management
  • Network Management
  • Long Term Planning and Budgeting​

Contact us anytime if you want to learn more about our dental-specific solutions and unlimited support packages. Our friendly customer service team will get back to you in no time.

 

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