Professional Benefits Services Case Study

Greenview Data

Professional Benefits Services Streamlines Email
Communications and Achieves Full Encryption
Compliance with Greenview Data Hosted Solutions

Worry-free Encryption and Full-Featured Email and Collaboration Platforms
Outperform MS Exchange at Dramatically Lower Total Cost of Ownership

The Client

As a full-service administrator of health and welfare benefits for employee and retiree plans, Professional Benefits Services (PBS) provides a wide range of HIPAA- compliant benefits administration services to clients throughout the United States. Offering Medicare supplements and Medicare D delivery and administration system, claims adjudication, COBRA, flexible spending and health reimbursement accounts, case management and wellness programs, to name just a few, the company’s suite of services is broad and flexible to suit the needs of small employer groups of 15-20 covered individuals to large employer groups with 500 or more covered individuals.

The Challenge

Given the common occurrence of emails containing highly sensitive patient account information, email encryption is a must for PBS. Not only does the company have a duty and obligation to protect its clients’ private data, but HIPAA requirements mandate the use of compliance-level encryption transmission protocols.

“Before encryption was a requirement, we’d actually searched for and identified several potential encryption methods that seemed easy to use and affordable, but all of them required the recipient to have some kind of unencryption method on their end,” said Brad Harris, IT Manager at PBS. “We didn’t want to trouble our clients with this, so we opted for password-protected ZIP files.”

However, as industry security requirements grew more stringent, this reliance on password-protected ZIP files proved not only inconsistent, but out of compliance. By relying on each of its internal users to remember to protect the files, PBS introduced the risk of a breach resulting from human error. And, as HIPAA mandates evolved, PBS soon discovered its ZIP file method wasn’t going to keep pace with the new requirements, potentially putting its compliance posture at risk. This ad hoc method also offered no way to verify the protection was, in fact, in place or truly effective at securing the embedded data.

At the same time, the organization had also begun to outgrow its telephone service provider’s email hosting system altogether. Frustrated by its lack of modern features and reliability, PBS was considering an upgrade to Microsoft Exchange Server, but remained hesitant because of the notorious high cost and maintenance requirements.

The Solution

When another company sent an email to PBS using ZixCorp’s email encryption, Harris and his team were intrigued. It seemed exceptionally easy to use, reliable and worry-free. Upon contacting the company to ask about the service, they were referred to Greenview Data, a ZixCorp partner and leading provider of email security and filtering solutions.

Perhaps best known for its highly accurate, award-winning SpamStopsHere anti-spam service, Greenview Data’s Zix-based email encryption offered the exact solution to meet PBS’ needs with a reliable, fool-proof system to protect highly sensitive data.

The Greenview Email Encryption service leverages ZixCorp’s unique ZixDirectory, the world’s only shared email encryption key repository, which eliminates the complexity and administrative burden of managing encryption keys. With more than 24 million directory members, the system makes reliable, embedded security easy to manage with minimal effort for both sender and recipient.

Impressed by Greenview Data’s Zix-based encryption capability, PBS also discovered the answer to its email dilemma with Greenview’s Email Hosting service. Offering the same advanced capabilities and all of the features they were looking for from Microsoft Exchange – including shared calendar, mobile access and online document management tools, plus Greenview Data’s highly regarded SpamStopsHere anti-spam/anti-virus and 30-day email archiving services – Greenview Email Hosting delivers outstanding performance at a much lower cost and maintenance burden than the traditional Exchange environment.

The Result

With the powerful combination of Greenview’s Email Hosting and Zix-based Email Encryption, PBS can now leverage the high- performance email capabilities it needs to grow its business, while ensuring HIPAA- compliant security for all its email transmissions.

Most encryption customers rely on the Lexicon Scanning Engine, which intelligently scans each email against optional filters such as HIPAA violations, social security numbers, credit card numbers, etc., to assist their users in securing their email. Due to the ease of decrypting messages with the Zix infrastructure, PBS found they could also create a policy forcing encryption on all email communications by using a policy filter that scans for a uniform tag word in their signature. Encryption can be turned off when necessary, but the always-on reliability and fail-proof security provides peace of mind and eliminates the risk of human error by users who simply forget to apply encryption.

“The encryption system requires very little effort on our end, and we spend very little time maintaining or tooling around with it every day,” Harris said. “In fact, the only time we really have to get in there is when a customer we don’t email with often forgets their key and we have to help them recover or reset it. But, even then, this is actually beneficial for us. It lets me know the system is working because they can’t access the file without the key.”

Supported by Greenview Data’s full-featured email hosting and collaboration tools, PBS enjoys all the benefits of a contemporary communications and productivity suite without the exorbitant cost and overhead of a traditional Microsoft Exchange environment. Unlike Exchange, which costs thousands of dollars for setup, licensing and hardware – plus ongoing hardware and software maintenance that demands the aid of extra paid staff or expensive contractors – Greenview services require no additional hardware or ongoing maintenance, training or service contracts, and there are no up-front setup fees. User accounts cost as little as $25 each and are backed by Greenview’s industry-leading 24x7x365 support via telephone, email and online ticket system from qualified and friendly US-based technicians.

“Greenview’s email hosting package saved us thousands of dollars and hours of time that would have been invested in deploying and maintaining an Exchange platform,” Harris said. “I hear from my colleagues in the industry all the time that just maintaining the Exchange server can be a full-time job. Greenview’s system enabled us to avoid that overhead and still get the same email, shared calendar and document collaboration features, plus built-in encryption, spam and archiving, all at an unbeatable value.”

More Information

For more information about Greenview Data’s comprehensive hosted email suite, compliance-level encryption and other email management solutions, visit www.greenviewdata.com.