by Sara Nguyen
Article filed in

What is secure sockets layer (SSL) technology?

by Sara Nguyen

Internet browser opening an HTTPS website

HIPAA compliant email is dependent on encryption for outgoing emails. Without encryption, email messages could be intercepted and have sensitive information stolen. 

Secure sockets layer encryption was the first solution introduced to protect data in-transit, but is it enough for HIPAA compliance?

What is secure sockets layer?

Secure sockets layer (SSL) is an encryption-based Internet security protocol that was introduced in the mid-1990s. Its purpose was to protect your sensitive information as it transmits over the Internet. For example, when a person enters credit card information on a website, SSL technology encrypts the sensitive data and protects it from unauthorized viewers. 

What’s the difference between SSL and TLS?

But SSL was often fraught with security flaws. In 1999, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) introduced transport layer security (TLS), which was similar to SSL but without so many security risks.

While SSL is often interchangeably used with TLS, SSL hasn’t been updated since 1996 and is considered to be deprecated. TLS is the most widely used and updated security protocol to protect information as it gets sent from the user to the intended Web server.

Does it matter if you choose SSL or TLS?

Most modern Internet browsers don’t support SSL anymore. But even the older versions of TLS are no longer supported. Many Internet browsers like Microsoft 365 and Google Chrome deprecated TLS 1.0 and 1.1 in 2020. The IETF even officially deprecated these older versions of TLS on March 25, 2021. 

The National Security Agency (NSA) only recommends TLS 1.2 or 1.3 encryption protocols. This helps ensure that Internet traffic is properly encrypted and kept safe from cybercriminals.

Read more: Why TLS encryption is essential to safeguard email

Have HIPAA compliant communication with Paubox

It’s imperative that organizations, including healthcare, use the latest TLS encryption for all their online activity. This includes their email communication. TLS encryption is like putting a lock on all your emails which can only be unopened by the intended recipient. This is crucial for HIPAA compliant email for covered entities

Paubox Email Suite uses TLS 1.3 encryption protocols to ensure that security is prioritized. This helps avoid data breaches, keeps protected health information (PHI) secure, and guarantees the secure delivery of your email.

Even if your intended email recipient doesn’t support encryption, Paubox provides a solution to ensure that emails are kept secure. Instead of delivering the email unencrypted and in plain text, Paubox will send an email to the recipient to click on a link that will open the message securely on an HTTPS website.

Paubox software is HITRUST CSF certified, and a business associate agreement (BAA) is included in every plan. We take your email security seriously, and you can rest assured that we care about protecting your emails.
SharpSpring is not HIPAA compliant.

Try Paubox Email Suite for FREE today.