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Top 5 HIPAA Compliant File Sharing Services in 2024 based on 400+ Reviews

Written by
Cem Dilmegani
Cem Dilmegani
Cem Dilmegani

Cem is the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per Similarweb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.

Cem's work focuses on how enterprises can leverage new technologies in AI, automation, cybersecurity(including network security, application security), data collection including web data collection and process intelligence.

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The healthcare industry’s emphasis on HIPAA compliant file sharing highlights the critical importance of secure data handling practices. Data breaches in healthcare, notably those involving Protected Health Information (PHI), incur the highest costs industry-wide, exceeding $7 million on average.1 This underscores the critical importance of data security, particularly in the context of HIPAA compliance and the secure sharing of medical records and patient data.

Source: United States Department of Health and Human Services2
HIPAA rules encompass a variety of security measures divided into administrative, physical, and technical categories. These measures are designed to safeguard patient data comprehensively. While some of these guidelines are obligatory, others are merely advised as effective practices for enhancing.

This article provides insights into HIPAA compliant file transfer services and highlights essential features to evaluate when choosing a solution for HIPAA compliant file sharing.

Top 5 HIPAA compliant file sharing services

Selecting the right HIPAA compliant file sharing service requires a clear understanding of each provider’s capabilities and how they align with the specific needs of healthcare organizations. By prioritizing patient information security and compliance with HIPAA regulations, healthcare providers can mitigate the risks associated with data breaches and unauthorized access,and protecti patient privacy.

ServicesRatingsFree TrialPriceEmployee Size
Cerberus FTP Server4.8/5 based on 180 reviews✅ for 25-daysProfessional: USD 1,499/annual
Enterprise: USD 3,299.00/annual
Enterprise Plus: 7,499.00/annual
11-50
Serv-U by SolarWinds4.6/5 based on 17 reviews✅ for 14 daysNot shared publicly.51-200
FileCloud4.5/5 based on 140 reviews✅ for 14-days

Essentials: USD 12.50 / month- per user
*min 10 users
Advanced: USD 18.75 / month- per user
*min 25 users
GovCloud: upon contacting FileCloud

51-200
Accellion (Kiteworks)4.4/5 based on 30 reviewsNot shared publicly.201-500
SmartFile4.3/5 based on 55 reviews

Business: USD 20.00/ month- per user
*min 25 users
Business Plus: upon contacting SmartFile
*min 50 users
Business Premium: upon contacting SmartFile
*min 100 users
FileHub Premium: upon contacting SmartFile

11-50

* Ratings are based on Capterra and G2. The HIPAA compliant file sharing vendors are listed according to rating.

Shared Features

  • HIPAA secure file sharing: All these services ensure HIPAA compliance, making them suitable for handling Protected Health Information (PHI).
  • Data encryption: They offer end-to-end encryption to protect data both at rest and in transit, safeguarding sensitive information against unauthorized access.
  • Audit trails: Detailed audit logs are available to monitor file access and transfers, an essential requirement for HIPAA compliance and security auditing.
  • Secure file transfer protocols: These services support secure file transfer protocols such as FTPS, SFTP, or HTTPS to ensure the safe transmission of data.

1. SmartFile

SmartFile can integrate with a broad array of systems and workflows prevalent in healthcare settings. This adaptability enhances HIPAA compliant data sharing.

This is a screenshot of SmartFile administration page.

Source: SmartFile Website 3

  • Granular permissions: Allows detailed control over file access rights, enhancing data security.
  • End-to-end encryption: Secures files in transit and at rest with robust encryption standards.
  • Monitoring & reporting: Offers tools for comprehensive tracking of user actions and file movements.

User Reviews

Pros:

  • Users appreciate the service’s comprehensive FTP functionality and substantial file storage capacity, enhancing their ability to back up and manage files effectively.4

Cons:

  • Users have noted concerns about the speed of uploads, which can be slower than expected, although it’s mitigated by the typically small data volumes they’re transferring.5

2. Cerberus FTP Server

Cerberus FTP Server offers customization options for security settings. This capability allows healthcare organizations to mold the service to their security protocols, a feature that stands in contrast to more rigid platforms with HIPAA compliant file sharing.

This is a screenshot of the Cerberus FTP Server User Manager administration page.

Source: Cerberus FTP Server Website 6

  • Access controls: Implements stringent access controls to prevent unauthorized data access.
  • Encryption: Ensures data protection in motion with a minimum of 128-bit encryption, with an option for FIPS 140-2 mode.
  • Auditing: Provides full logging of file activity for security and compliance auditing.

User Reviews

Pros:

  • Users value the tool’s compliance with HIPAA standards, ensuring the secure handling and transfer of sensitive healthcare data with features like SFTP, HTTPS, and detailed logging.

    7

Cons:

  • Users report limitations in allocating specific GB amounts to a user’s folder, restricting the ability to cap data storage per folder effectively.8

3. Accellion (Kiteworks)

Accellion Kiteworks is distinguished by its collaboration tools that secure communication across diverse platforms. This feature positions it uniquely for organizations that operate in a multi-platform environment and require collaboration across various communication channels.

HIPAA compliant file sharing tool accelion

Source: Accellion Kiteworks Website 9

  • Auditing: Offers auditing and reporting to meet HIPAA requirements and manage risks.
  • Data security: Supports SSL/TLS and AES-256 encryption for data in transit and at rest, protecting patient data effectively.
  • Rapid incident detection: Features real-time notifications and comprehensive reporting for swift response to security incidents.
  • Collaboration: Facilitates secure data exchange between healthcare organizations and business associates.

User Reviews

a user review of accellion

Source: A review of HIPAA compliant file sharing tool Accellion by Capterra 10

Pros:

  • Accellion’s software is found exceptional for document management and collaboration, praising its ease of use for creating and sharing a large volume of documents.11

Cons:

  • Users report that the interface can be unwieldy, especially when navigating through numerous folders, making the management of expiration settings challenging.12

4. Serv-U by SolarWinds

Serv-U by SolarWinds differentiates itself by offering flexible on-premises and hybrid deployment options. This versatility grants healthcare organizations the control over their file storage and HIPAA compliant document sharing, catering to those who prefer or require on-site data management solutions.

  • Comprehensive compliance: Addresses requirements from HIPAA/HITECH, PCI DSS, SOX, and more, offering a versatile solution for data security compliance.
  • Managed file transfer (MFT): Delivers a reliable and secure platform for managing file transfers while ensuring compliance with various regulations.

User Reviews

Source: HIPAA compliant file sharing tool Serv-U MFT Reviews by Capterra 13

User Reviews

Pros:

  • The tool facilitates easy file sharing and collaboration on projects by offering a secure environment for file transfers. It enhances operational efficiency through automation, allowing users to set up event-driven actions. 14

Cons:

  • Users report challenges configuring the software for high-availability setups with multiple hosts, as managing ports and gateways can become complex.15

5. FileCloud

FileCloud stands out customization and control on sharing files. Its platform allows users to customize their environment to align with specific operational and security policies, providing a significant edge to maintain HIPAA compliant file sharing.

This is a screenshot of the FileCloud admin page which is hipaa compliant file sharing service.

Source: FileCloud Website 16

  • Built-in DICOM image preview: Supports large medical file formats, enhancing collaboration and file sharing within healthcare contexts.
  • Hyper-security: Offers powerful encryption, automatic anti-virus scanning, and smart data loss prevention to safeguard patient and client privacy.

User Reviews

Pros:

  • Users appreciate FileCloud for its no-code setup, enabling easy process creation and access to real-time reports with a single click. It supports HIPAA compliant file sharing and DICOM image previews, enhancing medical report sharing. 17

Cons:

  • Users experience frustration with the software’s stability, noting unexpected exits during media backups, inability to connect to servers, frequent crashes, and limited offline functionality. 18

What is HIPAA Compliance?

The term “HIPAA compliant” and its relevance to file sharing technology is a point, indicating the healthcare sector’s dedication to meeting the strict standards set by HIPAA compliance. The protection of Protected Health Information (PHI) is a key concern, as evidenced by scholarly discussions that underscore the industry’s commitment to privacy and security.

How to Ensure HIPAA-Compliant File Transfer?

Ensuring HIPAA compliant file sharing is paramount for healthcare organizations and any entity handling Protected Health Information (PHI) or Personal Health Information. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) sets rigorous standards for the security and privacy of medical records and health information.

What Are the Best Practices for Secure File Sharing Under HIPAA Compliance?

Conduct a Risk Assessment: Identify vulnerabilities in file transfer processes to safeguard PHI effectively.
Use Data Encryption: Protect PHI with AES 256-bit encryption for data at rest and in transit.
Implement Secure Protocols: Employ SFTP, FTPS, or HTTPS for enhanced security during HIPAA compliant file sharing.
Ensure End-to-End Security: Secure all endpoints with antivirus, firewalls, and comprehensive security measures.
Access Controls: Enforce strict access through role-based controls, ensuring only authorized access to PHI.
Authenticate Users: Utilize multi-factor authentication to verify user identities securely.
Audit and Log Activities: Maintain detailed logs for monitoring user access and file movement.
Train Employees: Educate staff on HIPAA compliant file sharing and secure file handling procedures.
Establish Policies and Procedures: Develop clear protocols for PHI file transfers, including system updates.
Use Business Associate Agreements: Ensure third-party vendors are HIPAA compliant with BAAs.
Regularly Review Security Measures: Update security practices regularly to counter evolving cyber threats.

Further reading

Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst

Cem is the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per Similarweb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.

Cem's work focuses on how enterprises can leverage new technologies in AI, automation, cybersecurity(including network security, application security), data collection including web data collection and process intelligence.

Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.

Cem's hands-on enterprise software experience contributes to the insights that he generates. He oversees AIMultiple benchmarks in dynamic application security testing (DAST), data loss prevention (DLP), email marketing and web data collection. Other AIMultiple industry analysts and tech team support Cem in designing, running and evaluating benchmarks.

Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised enterprises on their technology decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.

He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.

Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Sources:

AIMultiple.com Traffic Analytics, Ranking & Audience, Similarweb.
Why Microsoft, IBM, and Google Are Ramping up Efforts on AI Ethics, Business Insider.
Microsoft invests $1 billion in OpenAI to pursue artificial intelligence that’s smarter than we are, Washington Post.
Data management barriers to AI success, Deloitte.
Empowering AI Leadership: AI C-Suite Toolkit, World Economic Forum.
Science, Research and Innovation Performance of the EU, European Commission.
Public-sector digitization: The trillion-dollar challenge, McKinsey & Company.
Hypatos gets $11.8M for a deep learning approach to document processing, TechCrunch.
We got an exclusive look at the pitch deck AI startup Hypatos used to raise $11 million, Business Insider.

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