More often than not it seems that businesses need to send confidential or private information via email. Email itself is not a secure method of communication and should not be used to transmit private information. As a business, it should be your responsibility to ensure safekeeping of the data about your clients. Several industries also have compliance mandates that require the use of secure communications including, but not limited to, HIPAA, FINRA, and Alta Best Practices. While some clients may complain that it is too difficult to access secure communications, the loss of data that could occur from a breach will most likely outweigh the extra 30 seconds it takes to log into a portal to retrieve a message.

Plummer Slade currently offers our clients two different options for secure communications. The first option is ShareFile from Citrix. ShareFile is a service that encrypts and securely transmits your email attachments to a 3rd party. Attachments can be virtually any size since they are not sent with the email and are not counted against any email size limits. The attachment is sent to ShareFile and securely stored in a portal for your client to access. If the person you email does not yet have a ShareFile account, they will be prompted to create one as they try to access the files you sent. One of the great features of ShareFile is the ability to have files expire after a set amount of days. Once the expiration happens, your files are automatically removed from the ShareFile service. ShareFile also allows outside parties to upload large documents or file collection to you through a web portal.

Email encryption works similarly to ShareFile but goes one step further by also encrypting the text of your emails. By encrypting the text of your email, you can protect any private or sensitive information within the email itself.  Email Encryption can handle attachments up to 5gb in size. Recipients of your email will be directed to a secure communication portal where they can access your email message and any attachments. The portal also allows for an encrypted reply for added security. By adding the additional protection of encrypting the text of the email, you can ensure that you have taken the steps needed to protect your client information.

Both ShareFile and Email Encryption offer branding option to have your business logo added to the web portals. This can help to personalize the web portal to meet your companies marketing needs and appear more familiar to first-time visitors. To discuss your secure communication needs, you can reach out to Matt Appleton (appleton@plummerslade.com / 412-261-5600 x211) and schedule a demo of each product. Secure email requires at least 3 users be licensed for the product. Citrix ShareFile starts with a single user and 20gb storage space. ShareFile allows you to add users or additional storage space as needed.