Is Office 365 Email HIPAA Compliant?

If your organization uses email for sending and receiving ePHI, you need to make sure that you are taking adequate measures to protect it. The Department of Health and Human Services has the power to fine anyone who does not comply with HIPAA Compliant Email.

Microsoft 365 offers a variety of security features that can help you meet HIPAA compliance requirements. However, you must choose the right package to fit your needs.

1. Encryption

Encryption is a type of security that hides the content of an email message by translating it into a code that can only be deciphered using a specific key. It is used for many purposes, including protecting personal and confidential information.

Microsoft 365 offers an encryption service that allows you to send encrypted emails within the Outlook application without any additional add-ons or licenses. This feature is called Office 365 Message Encryption (OME).

In addition to enabling encryption, OME also includes information rights management capabilities that apply use restrictions on encrypted messages and help prevent them from being forwarded or copied by unauthorized people. This helps ensure compliance with CJIS, EAR, and other privacy and security policies.

However, Microsoft 365’s encryption mode of operation relies on a weak block cipher algorithm. This makes it possible to partially or fully infer the contents of encrypted messages based on repetitive areas.

2. Data Loss Prevention

Data loss prevention (DLP) is a powerful feature that protects sensitive information in Office 365 email and other cloud services. DLP detects content that contains personal information, financial data or other confidential information and applies the policies you configure about what can be shared.

DLP also enables organizations to meet compliance regulations for the sharing of certain types of data, such as credit card numbers or social security numbers. DLP also supports a number of pre-defined data patterns and allows you to create your own custom patterns.

You can configure DLP policies in the Office 365 Security and Compliance Center. Once you do, you can view reports that show how often your users have tried to send content that matches a DLP policy, the number of false positives and overrides and the severity of the violation.

3. Access Control

Office 365 email security includes access control, which is a system that allows companies to regulate and monitor permissions. It provides automated workflow visibility, with options like admin alerts, unauthorized tasks restrain, access permission modifications and customized coaching messages.

This security control allows granular control, which makes it easier for organizations to manage their environment and reduce costs associated with data security. Message encryption helps ensure sensitive information is protected as it leaves the system, based on policy rules and compliance standards that organizations control.

A common way to implement this is through conditional access, where you can create policies that are applied based on users and cloud apps. These can be very granular and enable you to test policies before they roll out to the entire business.

One of the most important things to do is to enable multi-factor authentication for all the admins and users in your tenant. This protects your accounts against phishing attacks and password sprays.

4. Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to Office 365 email. After a user enters their password, they’re also asked to confirm it with another method of authentication, such as a one-time passcode (OTP) sent to their smartphone.

As more and more users access digital resources, organizations are faced with a number of challenges that require heightened security. These include protecting against hacking, phishing attacks, malware and other threats that can compromise sensitive data or cause serious damage to network resources.


Many of these risks can be mitigated with an effective multi-factor authentication process. The best systems combine easy-to-use processes with robust security measures that help protect against threats while delivering a convenient user experience.



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