So you are already using a HIPAA compliant software, you put passwords on all your devices, and you are sure that everything you are doing is secure. Are you doing everything you can to make sure your data is secure?
The chances are if you are following simple common sense and protecting all your devices with a password, you don’t have anything to worry about when it comes to a data breach. Let’s face it, even the biggest newsworthy hack this year (the DNC e-mail hack) was really just people being careless with their passwords. So, would adding a VPN to your agency’s protocol help add any security? Let’s find out.
What is a VPN?
Before you can decide whether your agency should use a VPN, it is probably helpful to know what a VPN is. For starters, VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. What does a VPN do? Essentially it provides another layer of security and encryption to your agency. If you have ever logged into a secure terminal at a hospital or similar type of facility, that is essentially a VPN. It is providing a separate tunnel for all of your traffic to go through from the standard public ISP traffic. Now, if you are using HIPAA compliant software, then you already have some serious encryption going on once you have logged in. The VPN will just add a layer of encryption before that. It isn’t necessary, but it is not a bad option to take. Also, it might be something that could give you bragging rights on having an ultra secure environment.
Who Uses VPN’s
Various industries use VPN. Really, anyone that wants to add a layer of security and privacy to all their online interactions. So as a home health, hospice, or therapy agency, it would be appropriate if you wanted to use a VPN (although not a necessity.)
How do I select a VPN?
DO YOUR RESEARCH! There are plenty of VPN providers out there. What you are really looking for is one with a good reputation. If you are going to go the VPN route, don’t try to save money. You want to use a provider that is well established and has a good reputation.
Remember, a VPN can be beneficial to the security of your agency’s web-traffic, but isn’t mandatory.