The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) sets the privacy standards and expectations that the healthcare industry must meet to ensure they’re protecting sensitive data, but these HIPPA rules also apply to many business phone systems. Balancing a business phone system with HIPPA standards can be a challenge, especially with VoIP. However, there are upsides, aside from obeying the law, to being HIPPA compliant:
- Efficiency: When the latest VoIP systems are HIPPA compliant, your business will have access to advanced forwarding options, meaning you can access voicemails anywhere, including from your email address.
- Professionalism: Not only are you showing dedication to your clients by being HIPPA compliant, but automated voicemail features add another layer of professionalism to your business.
- Protection: Not being HIPPA compliant can lead to heavy fees and legal fines. Investing in a new, or upgrading your existing, VoIP system ensures your business remains compliant.
The goal of HIPPA is to provide security to consumers, especially regarding their data. There are two main phone system requirements for compliance: physical and network security measures. In order to remain compliant, your phone system requires:
- Transmission security: This guarantees that the messages transmitted over the phone aren’t being overhead by dangerous ears. Through IPSEC, Transport Layer Security, WPA, etc., you can ensure that your transmissions are encrypted.
- Access control: Guarantees that passwords and a secure network protect your voicemails, and that only the intended recipient hears the message.
- Disabled services: Don’t need a particular service? Turn it off and train the rest of your VoIP services on a hardened operating system. Also be sure to enact the logical separation of your voice and data networks to maintain security and privacy.
- Staying up to date: By implementing the latest software versions, you guarantee that your VoIP system is up to date. Just as technology changes, compliance standards change too.
It can be difficult to stay on top of it all, but remaining HIPPA compliant will keep you from facing the legal consequences of violating the law.