hipaa-compliant sftp solutions

5 Best HIPAA-Compliant SFTP Solutions

Configuring a HIPAA-compliant Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) server keeps protected health information (PHI) safe during cloud-based transmissions. Traditionally, the transfers go through FTP, which offers a convenient way to transmit files between different systems.

However, the transmission of files through FTP poses risks, making sensitive data susceptible to unauthorized access. This is where SFTP solutions come into play.

The Role of Secure File Transfers in Healthcare

The use of SFTP for file transfers is crucial for HIPAA compliance, ensuring every file remains encrypted. It’s a more secure option than the traditional file transfer protocols as it uses the Secure Shell protocol to encrypt all transmissions.

Moreover, SFTP also lets administrators restrict access to these sensitive files. By defining user permissions, medical organizations can safeguard patient data from cybercriminals. It’s also worth noting that HIPAA-compliant SFTP platforms can verify the server identity through digital certificates, adding another layer of protection.

Overall, SFTP is an essential protocol that medical providers can utilize to secure the transfer of PHI over the Internet. Its robust encryption and file support makes it a reliable and efficient solution for exchanging sensitive patient data.

The list below features five of the best SFTP solutions that are HIPAA compliant.

5 Best HIPAA-Compliant SFTP Solutions

1. Sharetru

Sharetru is a HIPAA-compliant file-sharing and transfer service provider that uses end-to-end encryption for ePHI during transit and at rest. Concerning technical security, you can count on this provider to ensure controlled user access. 

Best features:

  • Native integration with FTP, FTPS, and SFTP
  • File sharing toolbox
  • API Access
  • Inactive user suspension
  • Transfer Automation
5 Best HIPAA-Compliant SFTP Solutions

2. HIPAA Vault

Another option for a HIPAA-compliant FTP server is the HIPAA Vault, which requires users to undergo two-factor authentication to access their files. Data is also encrypted at rest or during transmission. HIPAA Vault also provides 24/7 live support and technical assistance from their skilled engineers and system administrators.

Best features:

  • ePHI encryption
  • Host intrusion detection systems
  • Web application firewalls
  • SSL certificates & management
  • System monitoring
5 Best HIPAA-Compliant SFTP Solutions

3. Cerberus FTP Server

Cerberus FTP Server provides necessary access controls to prevent unauthorized access during PHI transfers. In addition to its powerful encryption, Cerberus FTP Server enables one-time password (OTP) to ensure secure sharing between external users.

Best features:

  • Flexible file transfers over FTP, FTPS, SFTP, and HTTPS
  • Cloud FTP server integrated with AWS or Azure
  • IP, User, and Protocol Restriction tools
  • Automated monitoring and testing
  • Superior account management
5 Best HIPAA-Compliant SFTP Solutions

4. Kiteworks

Kiteworks provides HIPAA-compliant SFTP solutions included in its file protection and management services. Its secure file-sharing allows organizations to monitor and access file uploads and downloads securely with encryption and multi-factor authentication.

Best features:

  • File and folder expiration
  • Immutable audit trail for reporting and analytics
  • High-risk, confidential data sharing up to 50GB
  • Automated file transfer
  • Intrusion detection systems and hardened firewalls
5 Best HIPAA-Compliant SFTP Solutions

5. SFTP To Go

SFTP To Go is a HIPAA-compliant cloud storage and file-sharing service compatible with SFTP, FTPS, Amazon S3, and HTTPS protocols. It provides secure data exchange with clients, third-party vendors, and customers with encryption and robust access controls.

Best features:

  • API integration
  • Secure Shell (SSH) key authentication and encryption
  • File upload and directory creation

Key Features of HIPAA-Compliant SFTP Solutions

A HIPAA-compliant SFTP software must adhere to privacy standards and security requirements to protect PHI. Here are the key features to look for in a secure and reliable SFTP service:

  • Secure Shell (SSH) encryption: Safeguard your data with SSH both in transit or at rest. SSH encryption uses cryptography to authenticate connections between devices.
  • Simplified file transfer connections: FTP can open several channels during file transfer, but with SFTP, you only need one channel over a single port to make transmissions safe and easier.
  • Multi-factor authentication: SFTPs must secure file permissions to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Business Associate Agreement (BAA): Service providers must sign BAAs with vendors and clients.
  • Security patches: Regular patch releases can protect your server from potential cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities.
  • Audit logs: SFTP servers must track user access and regularly monitor file activities for proper documentation. 
  • Access controls: HIPAA-compliant SFTPs must secure internal and external access to PHI with necessary access controls such as encryption, authentication, and password-protected pages.
  • Firewall protection: SFTPs must secure their servers by implementing firewalls for added security.

Secure File Transfers With HIPAA-Compliant SFTP Solutions

Failure to configure a HIPAA-compliant SFTP server to meet the requirements for protecting PHI can lead to severe consequences. Or worse, your organization could face hefty penalties and fines. There’s also the matter of lost trust and damaged credibility.

Fortunately, there are ways to avoid these potential issues. One way is to carefully research and weigh your options by comparing different SFTP providers and reviewing client feedback. Or, you can choose to send your sensitive records via fax using iFax.

iFax offers a HIPAA-compliant online fax solution with features tailored to meet the needs of covered entities handling sensitive patient records. Our platform also makes tracking and monitoring activities easy with its real-time audit logs and detailed transmission reports.

Get a free demo of iFax now to see how it works.

Kent Cañas

Kent is a content strategist currently specializing in HIPAA-compliant online fax. Her expertise in this field allows her to provide valuable insights to clients seeking a secure and efficient online fax solution.

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