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There are two basic defenses you should have in place to defend against cyber attacks One is technological, the other is human. Together, the two can go a long way to protecting the integrity and security of your data. Antivirus software and network protection – One of the risks you face these days is the one […]

With all the worry about data security and the risks of data breaches, firms need to have safeguards in place. Here are two ways you can lessen the risk of your data being lost or stolen. These can also make running your IT infrastructure simpler and perhaps even less expensive.

Data storage and cloud backups – If your data is stored and backed up on-site, you may be exposing your business and customer data to an entirely unnecessary vulnerability. On-site data storage and backups expose your business to serious risk.
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You may not think too much about serious disasters. Most of us focus on the day-to-day chores of running our businesses and keeping revenues up. However, there are long term planning concerns that many firms just avoid. Those concerns are managing the risk to your business if something very bad happens. This long-term planning is called risk management and it is the dullest topic ever—until something bad happens.
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When talking to our clients, we have noticed that SMBs often think the cloud is something for their bigger counterparts to explore. We hear objections like, “But, it’s too complicated.”, “The cloud sounds expensive.”, “We are a small business, we don’t think we need the cloud.”, Hold on!

In reality, it is the SMBs that benefit the most from the cloud. Here’s how…
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As someone running a SMB, you probably have a lot on your plate. You are the core decision maker, responsible for growing your business, keeping your clients happy and getting all the working done. Often, when you have so much going on, one area that gets overlooked is IT. When you are so busy looking into other things, the start of IT issues may slip your watchful eyes. In this blog, we discuss the IT red flags that you need to watch out for.

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In many industries, there are seasonal spikes in business around specific times. For example, CPAs/Accounting firms, though busy all year, generally see a spike in business around the time of tax planning, IRS return filing, etc., the retail industry sees a boom around the Holiday Season, and so on. During such peak times, it is common practice in the industry to employ part-time staff to meet the immediate resource needs. While this works well in terms of costs and for handling additional work/client inflow, this poses a few challenges from the IT perspective. In this blog, we explore those challenges so you know what to watch out for before bringing part-time staff on board.

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Does HIPAA regulation cover your business? There are two categories of entities who are regulated by HIPAA and are required to be in full compliance.

Covered Entity – This is the main focus of the original law. Covered entities are those who, in their normal activities, create, maintain, directly access and/or transmit PHI and ePHI. Examples of these entities are healthcare providers, clearinghouses, insurance plans, and employers who self-insure. [Note: In general a specific individual is not considered a covered entity. Their employer is the covered entity. Individuals, however, still have a duty to support and ensure compliance and would likely face disciplinary action by their employer for individual behaviors that compromise compliance. Their employer would be the target of OCR fines and penalties.

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So you know you are regulated by HIPAA. But in a broad sense, what must your organization do to be in compliance? First and foremost, you need to understand what HIPAA and the HITECH Act are regulating. HIPAA and the HITECH Act are regulating and enforcing the security of an individual patient’s health information. The specific information being regulated is known as Protected Health Information (PHI), also known sometimes as Individually Identifiable Health Information (IIHI), and its subset, electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI). ePHI is simply PHI stored, maintained, etc. in digital form. These are defined as any data that can individually identify a patient. That means anything that can reasonably ID a patient. Examples include SSN, medical ID, age, vmail, URLs, driver’s license number, license plate numbers, photos, names of relatives, identified test results, telephone numbers, email and postal addresses, and medical images. As can be seen, this sweeps a large swath of data under the umbrella of protected information.
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You deal with HIPAA every time you visit a medical office. But what is this law that seems to constantly appear anytime you get near a healthcare provider? HIPAA is the acronym for The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. Aside from allowing for portability of health insurance for the individual, the laws main reason for being is to ensure the protection and privacy of an individual’s medical data. HIPAA strictly regulates the security of medical data, and holds anyone who possesses or touches it in any way liable for any data breach that occurs. HIPAA (1996) and its younger cousin, the HITECH Act of 2006 strictly regulate and monitor the security of all individual medical data in the U.S.
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You are probably aware of the most common benefits of signing up with an MSP such as

  • On-demand IT support: Having an MSP ensures that you get priority IT support when you need it.
  • Scalable IT infrastructure: With an MSP by your side, you can scale your staff structure up or down without worrying about the IT aspect of it. Need to add 20 people to your workforce? You focus on the hiring, while your MSP will work out the IT logistics
  • Lower IT costs: Overall, having an MSP gives you a lot of cost savings vis-a-vis having an IT team in-house. Even if you have an IT team in-house, you can have them work in tandem with your MSP for the best results. Or, have them focus on research and optimization of your IT environment instead of focusing on mundane tasks like backups or software updates.

But, here are a few more benefits that are often overlooked.

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