Latest Technologies, Industry Trends & Best Practices

5 Ways to Promote HIPAA Security Among Your Workforce Members

By Brand Barney, SecurityAnalyst, HCISPP, CISSP, QSA, at SecurityMetrics Despite advances in HIPAA security and regardless of increased government cyber security initiatives via the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), attackers continue to steal unprotected patient data. In 2016, medical and healthcare entities accounted for nearly 37% of reported data breaches (Identify Theft Resource Center). While the cause of these data breaches varies from one organization to the next, most security professionals consider workforce members to be the weakest link in Protech Health Information (PHI) security. To minimize your organization’s risk for a data breach, I’d like to share … Continue reading

Dispelling 6 Misconceptions about the Cloud. Myth 6: Too Significant to Outsource Control

In our sixth and final week of our debunking the cloud myths series, we take on the misconception that the Cloud is too significant to outsource control. While outsourcing will result in less control from a technical standpoint, the business ease and financial savings will continue to increase the usage of these services.    MYTH: Too Significant to Outsource Control. FACT: When considering implementing a cloud-based solution, most people tend to think they will have to give up control of their organization to their cloud vendor. From a technical standpoint this is in part true, as your cloud provider becomes … Continue reading

Dispelling 6 Misconceptions about the Cloud. Myth 5: Cloud is a Fad

There has been a lot of hype around the word ‘cloud’. In fact, wherever you go, and no matter what type of technology you stumble across, there now seems to be a ‘cloud’ version of it. In the fifth week of our 6-week series addressing the myths/misconceptions related to the cloud, we examine the myth that the Cloud is a Fad. According to industry analysts and experts, forget fad. The Cloud is real, it’s here and it’s growing! MYTH: Cloud is a Fad. FACT: Cloud is here to stay, and according to Gartner it is accelerating quickly and globally. Based … Continue reading

Dispelling 6 Misconceptions about the Cloud. Myth 4: Cloud Cannot Scale for Large Organizations

During the fourth week of our 6-week series addressing the myths, or misconceptions, related to the cloud, we take on Myth 4: Cloud Cannot Scale for Large Organizations. Despite the current size of your organization – whether its large or small – this information is useful to know, especially as your organization grows in the years to come. MYTH: Cloud Cannot Scale for Large Organizations FACT: An advantage of using the cloud is that it adjusts to accommodate your business. If you need to add more staff or resources to support your business growth or to meet seasonal demands, you can … Continue reading

Dispelling 6 Misconceptions about the Cloud. Myth 3: Cloud is Not Reliable

This week, the third week of our 6-week series addressing the myths/misconceptions associated with the cloud, we take on Myth 3, which revolves around the reliability of the cloud. MYTH: Cloud is Not Reliable FACT: While notable outages have been well documented in recent years, businesses that are using the cloud prove to be more reliable than other types of infrastructure platforms. Defined processes, advanced 24/7 monitoring capabilities and expert system administration all help contribute to uptime guarantee. In fact, most cloud providers offer a 98-99% SLA and have invested heavily in infrastructure and support to ensure high levels of … Continue reading

Dispelling 6 Misconceptions about the Cloud. Myth 2: Cloud is One Size Fits All

Over the course of the next 6 weeks, I am taking on many of the myths/misconceptions associated with the cloud. Here is Myth 2; please post your comments! MYTH 2: Cloud is One Size Fits All FACT: When it comes to the cloud, there is no such thing as a cookie-cutter solution. The idea that software in the cloud is not customizable is one that has been perpetuated by premise-based software vendors and is frankly not true. The inherent flexibility of the cloud means that organizations can have greater control and customization of their contact center solutions. Satellite offices can … Continue reading

Dispelling 6 Misconceptions about the Cloud. Myth 1: Cloud is Not Secure

Cloud services and cloud platforms have become an undeniable part of the IT landscape. However, while the shift from traditional software models to the Internet has steadily gained momentum over the last several years, “the cloud” is still a fairly new concept. And like all things new, it comes with some concerns and uncertainty. Over the next 6 weeks, I will do my best to debunk some of the top misconceptions/myths associated with the cloud, including: 1. Cloud is Not Secure2. Cloud is One Size Fits All3. Cloud is Not Reliable4. Cloud Cannot Scale for Large Organizations5. Cloud is a … Continue reading

In the World of Mobile Messaging Applications, there are NO Privacy Guarantees

On Thursday 8 May 2014, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settled charges with mobile messaging application maker Snapchat. As the Wall Street Journal article reports, the gist of the alleged infractions (which were neither admitted nor denied by Snapchat) all relate to misleading consumers in one of three ways: 1. “By telling them (consumers) that messages would disappear.”2. “Misrepresenting its (Snapchat’s) data collection practices.”3. That Snapchat “didn’t adequately protect users’ personal data.” I am not a lawyer, nor do I want to comment directly on the misfortunes of Snapchat who have now been ordered to implement a new comprehensive security … Continue reading

Startel Secure Messaging: Achieving Privacy & HIPAA/HITECH Compliance

Text messaging (sending and receiving alphanumeric messages) is ubiquitous. Since 1982, mobile phones have had texting capability. Mobile phones utilize the mobile cell phone network and have access to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). Each message utilizing SMS (Short Message Service) is limited to 160 characters, and uses telephone protocols, such as GSM, CDMA, etc. The advent of the smartphones in 1994 (basically any phone with an operating system that can manage an application) brought the opportunity for phones to access the Internet (opened for public use in the 1990’s), which was a completely different channel of communication from … Continue reading

HIPAA in the Contact Center: PHI and Encryption

To ensure that your organization and your clients are acting in accordance with the HIPAA Security Rule as it relates to ENCRYPTION of ePHI, I did some extensive research and found a resource written by the American Medical Association titled “HIPAA Security Rule: Frequently asked questions regarding encryption of personal health information.” The document addresses a number of questions among physicians and other health care professionals as well as other HIPAA-covered entities and business associates. Consider the below points as it relates to your usage of ePHI:  To Begin with, What Information Should You Encrypt? Any systems and individual files … Continue reading

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