Email to Fax: The Simplest Method of Cloud Fax

Those who work in the healthcare industry or other compliance-minded fields know that when it comes to sending documents securely, faxing is still very much the preferred method. To the uninitiated, the idea of regularly sending faxes in the digital age seems silly, but to those concerned with factors like security or HIPAA compliance, faxing is ubiquitous. In fact, around 15 billion fax transactions are processed by US healthcare organizations each year, and that number continues to grow. However, though fax transmissions are an ever-present standard for healthcare organizations, the way these faxes are sent and received has shifted away from the traditional fax machine: HIPAA compliant cloud fax services have become an important part of the industry. For many cloud fax users, the easiest, most accessible way to send HIPAA compliant faxes is via email to fax. This method of cloud fax is preferred since it allows users to fax from any device that enables email access, and it eliminates the need to rely on a cloud fax web or native application; email and fax communication both can be accessed from a user’s existing inbox.

Email to fax is certainly the most convenient option, but for those concerned with HIPAA compliance, the bigger question is, is email to fax secure? If you’re trying to answer this very question in your search for a cloud fax service, Concord has gathered some info for you on how email to fax works, and what goes into making it secure.

How is an Email to Fax Sent?

The action of sending a fax via email is very much like simply sending an email: The fax document is sent as an attachment, with the recipient’s fax number filling the TO: field. If you’re using Concord, our email to fax service is compatible with virtually every common file type, so no need to worry about converting the file. You can find more detailed instructions on how to send a fax via email with Concord on our email to fax information page.

What Makes Concord Email to Fax Secure?

When you send a regular, unencrypted email, that message is passed through multiple servers, and it can be read at any server it passes through. However, when you send a fax via email with Concord, that message is TLS encrypted and passed directly to our network, without passing through additional email servers.

Related: What to ask a prospective cloud fax provider about HIPAA compliance

 

Once the fax reaches our network, the attachment is translated so that a fax machine can read it, and then it’s sent via the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) just as a traditional fax would be. This use of the PSTN makes the transmission inherently secure: The only way the PSTN could be hacked into is if someone had manual access to the phone line. Even if the PSTN could be hacked into, telephone communications are transmitted as currents, so your fax would be impossible for a person to read.

From there, your fax is passed to the recipient’s fax server, where it’s decoded and delivered.

In sending the fax directly to the Concord network, rather than to multiple email servers, email to fax is infinitely more secure than email alone, and yet more efficient and convenient than traditional fax. Simplify security and HIPAA compliance by signing up for Concord email to fax. You can build a service quote online in minutes, or contact us directly for more information. Just beginning your cloud fax search? Download our free Cloud Fax Reference Guide below to help you get started.

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