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www.ptscinti.com (513) 232–7700

THE IT INSIDER...
Insider Tips To Make Your Business Run Faster, Easier and More Profitably

November 2016

In This Issue...


HIPAA Compliance

As the saying goes, "It takes a village". Staying compliant is not just an IT policy, but a whole approach your organization takes to keeping patient records safe, secure and private. If you're subject to HIPAA, or just want to make sure your company is covered by these simple best practices, contact our office and we'll be happy to review these areas with you, free of charge!

This monthly publication provided courtesy of JR Hazenfield, of Professional Telecommunications Services, Inc..

JR Hazenfield

"As a business owner, you don't have time to waste on technical and operational issues. That's where we shine! Call us and put an end to your IT problems finally and forever!"

– JR Hazenfield, Professional Telecommunications Services, Inc.

Winter 2017: Disaster For Your Data?

Warning

With winter just around the corner, everyone around you may be getting "all wrapped up" in the upcoming holiday season...

But you've got a business to run, customers to keep happy and mission-critical data to keep safe, even if a major blizzard, lightning strike, windstorm or epic flood is taking place right outside your door.

Here are 5 easy steps you can take this holiday season to get your office prepared for this winter's worst, without seeming like Mr. Grinch.

Be ready for power outages. A power outage can hurt your business in more ways than you think. Besides employee downtime, it takes time to safely get everything back up and running. Then you need to make sure no critical files have been damaged or lost.

Autosave features can help minimize lost files in a sudden power outage. An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) can give your team anywhere from ten minutes to an hour to back up files and properly shut down equipment. If you need longer power durability during an outage, you might want to look into a backup generator.

Keep lines of communication open. Customer frustration due to production delays and not being able to reach key people at your company can be very costly in terms of both revenues and your company's reputation. Here are three ways to make sure calls to your office don't get bobbled when a storm rolls in:

  1. Create a new automated greeting to let callers know about changes in hours or closings.
  2. Set up an emergency override that automatically reroutes key phone lines to one or more numbers that can be reached during an outage.
  3. Make sure you and your staff can access voice mail remotely – from a smartphone, by e-mail as an attached sound file or transcribed message, or as a text notification.

Manage employees working from home.
Many of your employees can work from home if need be. But you'll need to prepare in advance if it's not the norm at your company. Have your IT specialist check with employees who could work from home during rough weather. They'll need a virtual private network (VPN) to safely access the company network. Be sure it's set up well in advance to avoid any glitches when that winter storm hits and you need it most.

Have a disaster recovery plan (DRP) ready to go.
Unless you can afford to shut down for days at a time, or even just a few hours, it's absolutely critical to keep a written DRP on hand. Write out step-by-step details of who does what in every type of winter disruption – from simple power outages to blizzards, flooding or building damage caused by heavy winds or lightning. A downed network can cost your company big-time every minute it's offline. Make sure your plan includes one or more ways to get it back up and running ASAP. Consider virtualizing key parts or all of your network so your team can access it remotely. Once you've written out your plan, keep one copy at your office, one at home and one with your IT specialist.

Get help from a professional you can trust.
Trying to recover your data after a sudden or serious outage without professional help is business suicide. One misstep can result in losing critical files forever, or weeks of downtime. Make sure you're working with a pro who will not only help set up a recovery plan, but has experience in data recovery. The old adage "an ounce of prevention" applies doubly when it comes to working with the right people who can help you prepare for – and recover from – whatever winter throws your way.

Want help getting ready for winter? Call for a FREE Winterization Checkup.

Let us help you make sure your phone lines, Internet connections and internal network can take the tough weather. One of our experienced professionals will come in to examine your systems and review your disaster recovery plan with you to make sure nothing critical has been left out in the cold.

Call (513) 232-7700 or e-mail JR@PTScinti.com TODAY - you never know when a sudden storm will blow in.


Free Report Download: If You Are Considering Cloud Computing For Your Company, DON'T, Until You Read This...

FREE Report

If you are considering cloud computing or Office 365 to save money and simplify IT, it is extremely important that you get and read this special report, "5 Critical Facts Every Business Owner Must Know Before Moving Their Network To The Cloud."

This report discusses in simple, non-technical terms the pros and cons of cloud computing, data security, how to choose a cloud provider, as well as three little known facts that most IT consultants don't know or won't tell you about cloud computing that could end up causing you MORE problems and costing you more money than you anticipated. Even if you aren't ready to move to the cloud yet, this report will give you the right information and questions to ask when the time comes.

Download Your FREE Report Instantly»


Do You Handle, Store or Have Access To Medical Records?

Our HIPAA Compliance Assessment Report is not just another checklist. You will be given a tangible, printed report. Your report package includes:

  • Risk Assessment to identify vulnerabilities & threats
  • Estimate likelihood and impact
  • Prioritize and document risks
  • Risk Management
  • Risk Avoidance & Risk Mitigation
  • HIPAA Policy and Procedures
  • Evidence of HIPAA Policy Compliance
  • Security Execption Worksheet
  • Supporting Documents:
    • Response Form HIPAA On-SiteSurvey
    • User Identification Worksheet
    • Computer Identification Worksheet
    • Network Share Identification Worksheet
    • User Behavior Analysis
    • Login History by Computer
    • Share Premission Report
    • Share Permission Report by User
    • Drive Encryption Report

Will you be prepared when a compliance officer or your business insurance company comes knocking at your door?

man knocking on door

Here Are 7 IT Policies And Procedures You Must Have In Place NOW.

HIPAA

HIPAA and HITECH have been around for quite some time, yet many medical practices – and their vendors, who are ALSO under these laws – are way behind the times when it comes to implementation. And with cyber-thieves getting smarter and more aggressive, it's imperative that you work diligently at becoming HIPAA-compliant today. To that end, here are 7 things you can do to take major strides toward compliance.

  1. Access Control Policy. This is a plan for WHO is given access to various systems and data in your organization and HOW they are given access. To limit your liability, give access to sensitive data only to those who need it to perform their job. You also need to have a plan for disabling accounts and changing passwords when employees leave.
  2. Workstation Use Policy. This policy outlines how employees use their workstations, laptops and other devices to access sensitive data (patient records). This policy should require that all employees use secure passwords and not download files from the Internet unless from a trusted, work-related source (no iTunes!). You should also monitor logins to your systems to watch for unauthorized access and employ other specific procedures for keeping that device secure.
  3. Security Awareness Training. Hackers are extremely clever and use phishing e-mails and false web sites to trick users into thinking they are accessing a trusted source when, in fact, they are opening the door for these hackers to gain access. Since new threats are created on a DAILY basis, it's smart to teach your employees how to recognize threats AND provide ongoing training about new threats as they come online. You must also keep an audit trail of your reminders and communications in case you're audited.
  4. Malicious Software Controls. You must have documented policies for the frequency with which anti-malware and antivirus software are updated and what happens if an infection/outbreak occurs.
  5. Disaster Recovery Plan. You must have a plan in place for how you will restore patient records and files in the event of a disaster – be it an office fire, flood, burglary of your systems (yes, that's happened!) or any other data-erasing event.
  6. Media Disposal Policy. Have an old PC? DON'T just throw it away or give it to someone! Even if you delete all the files, a savvy hacker can use it to recover logins and data. Instead, have a qualified IT firm wipe the system first – then you can donate it or dispose of it properly. (Tip: Most firms that wipe PCs can also take care of donating it or disposing of it properly.)
  7. Review And Audit Procedures. As you may know, there's a LOT more to HIPAA compliance than the items discussed here; however, be certain also that whatever you do has a firm audit trail/log that shows that everything has been executed according to plan.

Call today to schedule an appointment to have a HIPAA compliance assessment report before someone knocks on your door!

Contact: JR Hazenfield (513) 624-5113.

Tips and Tricks

Who needs an office when you have a car?

Microsoft has partnered with Mercedes on a project called In Car Office, slated to debut in 2017. Actually, the idea isn't to replace your office, but to help you make your time in the car more productive. In Car Office links your car with MS Exchange, your calendar and other apps to help you make better use of your time in traffic. For instance, it pulls data from your to-do list to suggest calls to make and places to go. It can even program your car's GPS with info from your calendar. And Mercedes isn't alone. Volvo and other carmakers are adding features to help you get a bit more

You don't have to be a behemoth like Google to make a bundle from IoT.

Smaller companies too can cash in on the "Internet of Things." For instance, with data-rich sensors, cloud and mobility, the whole face of field service has changed. Smart companies are ditching the high cost of reacting to unplanned crises caused by broken equipment. Now, instead of fixing broken things, they're offering service plans that assure nothing breaks in the first place. And people are more than happy to pony up for that kind of assurance. Field service, in fact, is now getting the type of high-tech makeover that IT, CRM, HR and marketing have already had. As smaller companies are now proving, it's not just size that counts.
Readwrite.com

Betcha didn't know your iPhone could do these 4 things:

The iPhone might not be a superhero's first weapon of choice, but did you know your iPhone could track any villain who nabs it? It even records every place it's been over the past few months. Click through Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services. Need to send a self-destructing message? Go ahead, send that secret picture or video and tell it to self- destruct in two minutes. Head to Settings > Messages. Need to hang shelves in your Batcave? Just go to iPhone's Compass and swipe left to access its level feature. You can even discover hidden power hogs. Navigate to Settings, then Battery, for a peek at your phone's worst offenders.
–Mashable

Trouble meeting deadlines?

This app can help. If you've ever wished for a project management tool that's just simple, intuitive and flexible, then Aeon Timeline is worth a look. It's a little like a Gantt chart, but a lot easier to use. Aeon's smart interface lets you map out all the parts of your project on a timeline. Just add people, places and resources to an event. You can link dependencies, so things get done in the right order. Then fi lter events to narrow your focus, and nest them to easily zoom in for more detail. You can even add bookmarks to easily jump to key milestones. Details and deadlines may not be your strong suit, but with this handy app, no one will ever know.
AeonTimeline.com

Love digital books, but hate reading on a laptop or tablet?

If you've never tried an e-reader, you are really missing out. So what makes e-readers so different? For one thing, they don't let you do anything else. No temptation to tweet, or check up on work. They're built just for reading. And they don't shoot light into your eyeballs. With no glare, it's a more pleasant read, even in sunlight. Plus, battery life is a breeze. You could easily go two to four weeks without a charge. Then there's the content itself. Sure you can find endless material on the web, written for skimming, and for visitors with the attention span of a gnat. But isn't it time you cozied up with a great novel instead?
TheNextWeb.com


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