Encryption is the process of encoding a message or information so that only authorized parties can read it. In our industry we handle Personal Health Informaton (PHI) which is protected under the HIPAA-HITECH laws, and also credit card information. We are required to protect the messages we send to be delivered via the internet (texting, e-mailing, etc.) so they can’t be read without the encryption key. In a simplifed form this is what happens when a message is encrypted. We type words into a message template and press “send”. The message is encrypted (encoded, scrambled) and sent out to the receiving computer. A conversation called a “handshake” takes place between the two computers. The sending computer says “I have a message for you that’s been encrypted.” The receiving computer says, “Great, I can decode it so the receiving party can read it – go ahead and send it to me.” Bingo – the message is sent.
Our responsibility is to make sure the message leaves our equipment in a safe, protected, encrypted format. Our customers should be able to safely receive our messages.