Every URL you open is independent, meaning that what happens on one page will not affect others. However, this doesn’t mean that cybercriminals still can’t attack the places you keep your patients’ protected information. After all, each time you open a tab to check your email, you are welcoming in potential attacks.
Taking precautions to ensure that protected health information (PHI) is safeguarded is a part of the everyday duties of those who work in healthcare. Having a HIPAA compliant email program should be on the top of every organization’s priority list if they don’t already have one. And even though programs may be HIPAA compliant, this doesn’t mean that they are entirely safe from any sort of cyberattack.
How does sandboxing work?
This is where extra protection comes in, like sandboxing. This technique creates a layer of protection for each program you operate. It helps control any harmful programs you accidentally download to your computer, limiting them from causing damage to other things on your device.
Think of sandboxing like an actual sandbox; the box’s perimeter keeps the sand in the box and keeps other things out. If there is no perimeter, sand will go everywhere, making a gigantic mess that is virtually impossible to clean up.
Sandboxes can provide protection in two ways:
- With an automatic sandboxing program on your computer
- Creating a sandbox for a specific purpose
Some may consider sandboxing an unnecessary expense, especially for businesses. However, without it, the potential for an entire computer to become infected with a virus or other harmful program increases.
URL sandboxing looks at all the URLs within an email, analyzing them to see if they are potentially hazardous for your computer. If you click on an infected link embedded within the email, it will automatically be blocked by the sandboxing program. Also, a notification will pop up on the computer screen to show whether or not the URL is harmful.
If websites could potentially be flagged as harmful, but you know they aren’t, you can categorize these within most URL sandboxing programs. This alleviates the stress of being unable to access websites you regularly use in the workplace.
Popular browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari have various forms of automatic sandboxing programs that help to weed out harmful viruses or attacks that appear on URLs. They run silently in the background, or you can adapt the program to search for specific viruses.
SEE ALSO: What is antivirus software?
Creating a single-use sandbox is also a standard safety precaution. Still, it allows you the computer user to “sandbox” select a single URL or program to program — “sandboxing it” — to prevent it from harming other programs.
Adding more security
At Paubox, we want to help keep your patient’s protected health information safe as best as possible. Before implementing a sandboxing program, especially for URLs in emails, it’s essential to have basic security for your inbox.