This One Step Will Turbocharge Your Faxes’ Security and Compliance

eFax Corporate, Healthcare
3 minute read
Your messages are encrypted only if you and the people with whom you exchange email both use providers that support Transport Layer Security. Not every provider uses TLS, and if you send or receive messages from a provider that doesn’t, your message could be read by eavesdroppers.
-Google's Gmail transparency report

You can’t secure the entire internet

By partnering with eFax to transmit documents containing your clients’ or patients’ personally identifiable information, you’re already well ahead of your competitors in terms of data security and regulatory compliance.

But what happens if the other party with whom your business needs to exchange sensitive documents doesn’t have eFax’s industry-leading level of data security? What if you need to send a sensitive document that requires the most advanced encryption available — and today, that’s Transport Layer Security (TLS) — but the recipient doesn’t have TLS encryption?

That scenario is not uncommon, and the result can be a document exchange in which the data is vulnerable. As Google explains on its Gmail security page: “By default, Gmail always tries to use a secure TLS connection when sending email. However, a secure TLS connection requires that both the sender and recipient use TLS. If the receiving server doesn’t use TLS, Gmail still delivers messages, but the connection isn’t secure.”

You can build an encrypted tunnel across the internet for your faxes

eFax uses TLS to encrypt the contents of your fax documents — creating the digital equivalent of an armored convoy around the transmission to escort it safely and confidentially from your eFax account, to our secure mail server, and out to your recipient’s email provider.

But if the recipient’s mail provider doesn’t encrypt its own data, the fax transmission can lose much of its security during the last leg of its journey. For example, eFax can keep the contents of your documents encrypted, but the fax’s metadata — your business’s name, the recipient’s name, subject line, fax numbers, etc. — might be forced to make its way to your recipient’s inbox unencrypted.

And here’s where you can supercharge your business’s fax security and regulatory compliance — by deploying eFax’s TLS Service for Secure Connectivity.

Our TLS Service is a simple but powerful add-on to your eFax account. When you implement it, you can establish default rules that ensure your fax transmissions always travel (both to and from your business) fully encrypted by TLS. A few examples:

  • Receive faxes only from senders encrypting their transmission with TLS.
  • Send faxes only to recipients whose email providers can establish a TLS connection for the transmission.
  • Set rules to authenticate TLS certificates (from sender or recipient) before initiating any digital fax exchange.
  • Cancel any transmission that cannot establish a secure, encrypted tunnel protected end-to-end by TLS.

Protect every sensitive business fax with eFax’s TLS Service

What Google is describing in the quote above — trying to establish a TLS connection but sending the email anyway, unsecured, if it can’t — is called “opportunistic encryption.” And if your business needs to exchange sensitive and regulated information, you obviously can’t afford this type of hit-or-miss approach to document-transmission security.

eFax’s TLS Service, on the other hand, provides “enforced encryption.” In other words, this service simply won’t put your business’s sensitive data at risk with a fax exchange unless the other party can establish a TLS connection to ensure the data is protected for its entire journey. Obviously, this is the better option for your business’s data security, regulatory compliance, and brand reputation.

When it comes to something as mission-critical as safeguarding your business’s sensitive data, you want to set your transmission rules to the highest security standards possible — or not let them be transmitted at all.

eFax’s TLS Service can help?

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