Are Your Laptops Encrypted?

Team of doctors working on laptop and smiling at camera in medical officeAre your laptops encrypted?  Aside from being a major component of HIPAA compliance, you want to make sure your laptops are protected just for the sake of good business practices.  The last study I read showed that over 30% of HIPAA violations are from lost or stolen laptops.  So why wouldn’t you encrypt it?

Encryption is now included in some business-class versions of Windows. It can also be purchased separately from vendors like WinMagicSymantec, and McAfee/Intel Security. Encryption should be installed on every laptop, even if you think it has no ePHI.   Encryption not only protects data at a high level than passwords, it exempts you from reporting a lost or stolen device. Considering the recent $1.5 million fine for a lost laptop, $1.7 million fine for a lost hard drive, and $150,000 fine for a lost thumb drive, encryption is your cheapest insurance against a reportable data breach.

Who Can Install Encryption?

Doctors aren’t IT professionals any more than IT professionals are doctors. Refer yourself to a specialist. Your office is not your home. Just because they may function does not mean you can use the same consumer grade computers, software, and networking devices that would work in your home.

The HIPAA and Meaningful Use requirements that you protect patient data require business-class solutions installed by qualified IT professionals. Protecting patient data requires a professional knowledge of IT security. Devices that include security features must be properly installed, configured, and actively maintained.

The IT industry term for Wellness is Managed Services. IT companies use sophisticated automated tools for remotely monitoring the performance and security of your network. This can help you comply with HIPAA’s requirements for monitoring access to data and ensuring your security stays in place. Contact Tier3MD and use a team of IT professionals that can provide Managed Services and is certified in HIPAA.