Encryption is fundamentally important to meeting the guidelines of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Encryption is critical to meeting HIPAA compliance because encryption cloaks your most sensitive data from unauthorized viewing. This digital process uses standardized protocols to scramble all the data that is transmitted by a user into a code that makes it undecipherable. In other words, encrypted information is unreadable to any computer peering (accessing it) between the source and destination. Only the person sending the message and the one receiving it can see what is being communicated. In order to decrypt the information back into readable information, digital tools called keys are needed. Keys let the sender and receiver see the data and, afterwards, encrypt it again so that no one else can see it.