“Trust me, I’m a doctor.” The saying is overused, but there’s a ring of truth to it. We do trust doctors – with our health, the delivery of our babies, the care of our parents, and the diagnosis of our illnesses. And a lot of information in between.
It’s no wonder then that this information – private, sensitive, vulnerable, valuable – is protected by law. However, laws don’t always deter cyber criminals. So, shouldn’t it be protected by something else? That’s where encryption – and more specifically, secure file transfer - comes in.
What is Encryption and What is Healthcare Without It?
Data encryption is when data is converted into encoded and unreadable text in order to make the information inaccessible without a decryption key. In the healthcare industry, it can:
- Make HIPAA compliance easier
- Protect patient data from theft and breaches – even if it is stolen, it can’t be opened or read
- Secure data across multiple devices
- Protect data not only in the database but when it’s being sent
- Prevent tampering with data
Encryption is an obvious boon to the healthcare industry, which has more than its fair share of information that needs protecting.
The good news is the number of breached healthcare records has declined since 2021. The bad news is that it’s still over 20 million. A quick look at the HIPAA Journal’s 1H 2022 Healthcare Data Breach Report will tell you that the industry is being hit on all sides. Partners, providers, and plans have all experienced breaches affecting between 260,000 and one million people each. The most common causes of these breaches include ransomware, malware attacks, “unspecified cyberattacks,” and the usual lineup of digital intrigue. This problem isn’t going away. So why is it so prolific? Because it’s working.
If you hack into a database and find a treasure trove of plaintext passwords, addresses, payment card information, and health records, you’ve got leverage. You’re going to contact the compromised healthcare group, explain to them what you’ve got, and threaten to publish the HIPAA-protected information on the web – destroying their public image, harming their patients, and possibly putting them in financial and legal jeopardy. That doesn’t sound like a good option. So, they pay the ransom.
Now, you can rinse and repeat the process. Or you just steal the data secretly and sell it on Dark Web forums, part of a RaaS scheme. Or you stretch it out into double and triple extortion tactics, contacting and threatening more patients and partners with their hostage information as you go.
However, if you hack into a database and fish out a bunch of locked files, the joke’s on you. You’ve just wasted your time, and you move on to the next medical network or hospital or doctor’s office that makes it easier to do what you do. Man-in-the-middle and data-in-transit attacks are lurking and encrypting the file transfer process might spell the difference between those that read the headlines and those that become them.
Use Cases: GoAnywhere MFT for Healthcare
So when sending your patient’s data, it will travel between employees, partners, facilities, systems, and the patients themselves. It may travel through the cloud or be saved in an on-premises database. And, it may be contained in a single file or within a large batch that requires immediate retrieval. The point is, it can change many hands within its lifespan, and it only takes one bad move to open yourself (and your network) up to compromise.
A Managed File Transfer (MFT) solution (also known as secure file transfer) is a centralized solution that helps streamline and secure the process above. Secure file transfer is the practice of safely sending (usually through encrypted means) your files while preserving their integrity. GoAnywhere MFT encrypts your sensitive files and sends them safely – whenever, wherever, to whomever, however fast, and however large. All from a single, centralized dashboard.
Here’s how GoAnywhere MFT ensures data security in the file transfer process:
- Automation. GoAnywhere can help you automate your file transfer process by setting up multi-step workflows that work with existing processes.
- Compliance. Stay out of the danger zone with HIPAA and HITECH-compliant file transfers.
- Safely send Electronic Health Records (EHR). GoAnywhere MFT encrypts your EHR file-sharing process, whichcan contain patient records, medical history, and lab results.
- Data in transit. Industry-standard protocols like SFTP, FTPS, OpenPGP, AS2, HTTPS, and PeSIT protect files during the exchange as you send them both inside and outside your facility.
- Batch transfers. You can send and manage batch file transfers automatically – and securely.
- Speedy transfers of large amounts of data. When an unexpected influx, merger, or workload hits, you can stay agile by sending large numbers of files without the lag.
- Centralized management. GoAnywhere MFT provides a unified dashboard where you can oversee your transfers, security settings, and partner users from a central location and get the big-picture view.
- Cloud collaboration. Safely send individual or batch files on-premises or in the cloud.
“The ease of development, of using the web client, and the simplicity of executing jobs within the software has been a pleasant surprise,” noted one healthcare client of GoAnywhere MFT. “Plus, we’ve found there is really little need for training or for programming background in using the product.”
Here are a few more firsthand accounts of what GoAnywhere MFT has done for the healthcare industry:
- University of Tennessee Medical Center went from manual processes (written scripts, FTP, task scheduler) to encrypting, monitoring, and automating their transmission process - "After a quick installation and a few hours of training we were up to speed.”
- A Health and Wellness Service Organization eliminated an archaic process involving mountains of faxes, audited their file transfer process, and increased the reliability of inputting data into their patient’s medical records.
- Anderson Area Medical Center lacked the staff to keep up with batch file transfers, and files were getting lost in the process. Switching to GoAnywhere solved the problem with transfer notifications and saved them over 500 employee hours of work.
Ultimately, one of the biggest benefits of GoAnywhere MFT is that it’s user-friendly. Pediatricians, nurses, surgeons, healthcare administrators, and everyone else who works on those front lines went to school for what they do, not how to secure digital files when sending them. That’s just part of the job that needs to get done, but it needs to get done safely or the cyber criminals that prowl around the industry could end up doing real damage. It’s a reality that needs to be dealt with, but with a user-friendly interface, GoAnywhere MFT is able to provide state-of-the-art encryption technology and secure file transfer that is practical to use by the professionals who need it the most – no programming, upskilling or cyber skills required.
Said the IT supervisor of one leading children’s hospital, “Most of our users are not technical but we find more and more departments and groups are gravitating toward the secure control and centralization they get with GoAnywhere.”
Request a Demo of GoAnywhere MFT Today
The confidential information of a patient needs to be protected and GoAnywhere MFT can help secure these files as they travelfrom cyber criminals. Request a demo of GoAnywhere MFT today and try out the solution for yourself.