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Healthcare organizations depend on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, which are crucial for healthcare organizations. Emails, in particular, offer a convenient way to exchange information quickly, but they also pose significant risks. Organizations need strong security for mobile email viewing.


Why managing email security in mobile devices is tricky

The effortless integration of mobile devices in email practices often comes with a price: the complexity of securing these devices and the potential challenges that users may encounter:

  1. Mobile devices encompass various operating systems, models, and configurations, making it challenging to implement consistent security measures.
  2. User actions, such as clicking on phishing links or downloading malicious attachments, can inadvertently compromise email security.
  3. The portability of mobile devices increases the risk of loss or theft, potentially exposing sensitive email data.
  4. Mobile devices often connect to unsecured public Wi-Fi networks, increasing the likelihood of data interception during email transmission.
  5. Attackers can exploit vulnerabilities in email apps or third-party email clients to gain unauthorized access.
  6. Implementing security on personal devices under Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies requires balancing user privacy with corporate security needs.
  7. Keeping email apps and device firmware up to date is necessary but can be challenging for users to manage.

See also: Bring your own device (BYOD) policies in healthcare


Practices to combat email security risks

  1. Regular software updates: Ensure email applications and mobile device firmware are updated with security patches to address vulnerabilities.
  2. Employee training: Educate healthcare staff and employees about email security best practices, including identifying phishing attempts and handling email attachments safely.
  3. Email whitelisting: Maintain a whitelist of approved and secure email addresses to reduce the risk of phishing and spoofing attacks.
  4. Remote device management: Implement remote management capabilities to offload employee devices from the network, ensuring that devices are securely decommissioned when necessary.
  5. HIPAA compliant email software: Find HIPAA compliant email software that adheres to HIPAA regulations and provides an effective yet easy way to safeguard patient information in email communications.
  6. Secure Wi-Fi usage: Encourage staff to use secure Wi-Fi networks rather than public or unsecured networks when accessing email on mobile devices.
  7. Regular backup and data recovery: Implement everyday data backup practices to prevent data loss due to device issues, accidental deletion, or cyberattacks.

See also: Best practices for implementing a secure BYOD policy


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