Fax Compiance & HIPAA Risk Management

Help Your Clients Bring Their Business and Faxing into Compliance

Peter Ely | Jan 14, 2016

…and Earn Your Business a New Revenue Stream

CIO Magazine recently published an article reporting on Fitbit’s announcement that it had achieved HIPAA compliance — meaning the wearable technology company had met the federal guidelines for protecting the privacy of its customers’ health-related data. The article offered this ominous warning: “Still, many firms should be HIPAA compliant, but aren’t, which puts them at risk for legal action. Could yours be one of them?”

Ask yourself the same question about your clients: Are they compliant with the data-privacy regulations governing their industries (HIPAA, for healthcare, SOX for finance, GLB for publicly traded businesses, etc.)?

Unless they have resources focused on keeping up with their industries’ key federal regulations, it is likely you have clients that risk falling short of full regulatory compliance in at least some aspects of how they transmit and store their customers’ or patients’ sensitive data.

That’s not a critique of your clients. Rather it’s a critique of the complexity of the regulations themselves. For example, a single HIPAA ruling (one of many) called the Omnibus Rule runs 500+ pages. And we're not talking about 500 Harry Potter pages — they are written in the dense legalese of any governmental regulation.

A simple misreading of a single line or clause in any one of these pages, or in the thousands of other pages that form these major data-privacy regulations, could place your clients on the wrong side of federal law. And as the CIO Magazine article puts it, such a mistake “could cost thousands of dollars in fines, lost business, damaged reputations and even criminal penalties.”

So, the question is, are your clients fully compliant with their industries’ data regulations? And even if they are compliant when it comes to newer communication protocols like email, have they given as much scrutiny to technologies like fax – a business staple in many but taken for granted?

Based on our experience in dealing with businesses of all sizes, across many industries, and with various levels of IT sophistication, we can state confidently that the topic deserves further investigation. And that creates a real opportunity for you.

Gauge Your Clients’ Fax Compliance With These 5 Questions

The first step to helping bring your clients in line with federal regulations is helping them identify the compliance gaps — and it is likely you’re going to find gaps — in their current faxing processes.

You can achieve this — and open your clients’ eyes to the need for a better fax solution than the one they’re currently using — by querying them in a few simple areas:

  • If your staff faxes with a standard fax machine today, are you aware that this simple device could contribute to regulatory violations even though fax inherently has greater security than alternatives like email?
  • If your company uses in-house fax servers for your business faxing, do you know how (if at all) sending or receiving faxes this way might violate federal regulations?
  • If you use a cloud fax service, does your provider use the highest levels of data encryption to ensure regulatory compliance? Do you know what protocols those are? Are their data centers secured? Are they serious enough to even have true data centers?
  • What physical security measures are required by federal or state regulations, if any, to protect servers storing your electronic fax documents? Or even a standalone fax machine itself?
  • How does your company currently handle your stored faxes after you’ve sent or received them? Do you know specifically what your industry’s data-privacy regulations say about what’s required in terms minimum protections for stored copies of your faxes?
  • What happens to your business if the workflow stops because of a failed or offline fax machine or, even worse, fax server? Do you have a single point of failure in your faxing workflow? What about your provider’s network? Infrastructure redundancy? Do you need to restart the fax server regularly?

A Great Opportunity for You — Help Your Clients Upgrade to a Compliant Fax Solution


Given the amount of time and attention it will take to keep them on the right side of all of these regulations, your clients may be better off simply outsourcing to a trusted partner like you.

And you can offer them such a solution: a fully hosted, secure cloud fax service, from eFax Corporate, the world’s leading cloud fax provider for large enterprises and small businesses. All you need to do is become an eFax Corporate Partner.

eFax Corporate, often complemented by eFax Secure™ in highly regulated business environments, is entrusted every day as part of the eFax portfolio’s daily transmission of millions of pages to handle businesses’ sensitive corporate documents in the most heavily regulated industries. Our proven process helps enterprises meet the strictest federal mandates regarding data transfer, tracking and storage.

And this solution is now part of our support-driven, high-touch, Partner Program. Please visit our eFax Corporate Partner page to learn more.

Peter Ely

About Peter Ely

Currently responsible for the Enterprise Partner Program for j2 Cloud Services, Peter Ely is a 28-year technology veteran, having held senior executive positions looking after presales, product management, product marketing and technical evangelist teams across two continents and three countries in the telecommunications and data networking arenas.
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