Telemedicine is an integral part of modern health care, providing convenience, flexibility and access to services to individuals who may not be able to receive it otherwise. As telemedicine continues to become more popular, health organizations must ensure compliance with all regulatory laws regarding the storage and exchange of confidential data. Certificate management software is one way to help organizations meet their compliance requirements while still providing a secure platform for data to be exchanged using telemedicine programs.
The regulations and laws surrounding the storage and exchange of electronic protected health information (ePHI) are complex. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) sets the standard for privacy and security when it comes to this type of confidential information. HIPAA requires healthcare organizations to ensure all transmitted data remains secure and identities of both the sender and receiver of the data must remain confidential. Certificate management software is a critical component of achieving compliance with HIPAA by providing a secure platform for ePHI to be stored and transmitted.
Certificate management software provides a secure platform that uses a “chain of trust” approach to ensure data remains safe and secure. This chain of trust is essentially a network of trust relationships between different entities, such as the sender and receiver of data. At the core of this trust network is a Public Key Certificate (PKC), which allows the sender to securely validate and identify their own credentials, as well as the recipients. PKCs are issued by certificate authorities (CA) and are used to authenticate both parties to the data exchange.
The first line of protection of PKCs is through a digital signature. When data is exchanged between entities, a digital signature is used to ensure that the content of the exchange can be trusted and remain secure. This means that no one can alter the contents of the data without being detected. From there, the data is encrypted and sent over the internet, further protecting it from unauthorized access.
Another layer of protection that certificate management software provides is the use of an enterprise certificate policy (ECP). An ECP is a set of standards used to ensure that all certificates issued meet the same criteria. This way, all certificates issued are trusted, regardless of the CA issuing them. It also helps organizations maintain control over which certificates are used for ePHI exchange by only approving those issued by trusted CAs.
All organizations exchanging ePHI must have certificate management software in order to maintain compliance with HIPAA. This software not only helps organizations ensure the security of their data, but it also helps them remain compliant with all regulatory laws. By using certificate management software, organizations can rest assured that the data they are exchanging is secure and compliant with all applicable laws.