HIPAA Risk Analysis

What is a HIPAA Risk Analysis?

The Health Insurance Privacy and Portability Act (HIPAA) was put into place to protect patients’ privacy and give them control over how their health care information is used. In the medical field, having a HIPAA plan for your practice is not enough. You must always meet HIPAA compliance regulations, or face a hefty fine and tarnish your reputation with patients. The first step to meeting compliance is to implement a HIPAA Risk Analysis.

 

About the HIPAA Risk Analysis

 

The goal of a HIPAA Risk Analysis is to reveal the possible risks and weaknesses to the integrity, confidentiality and availability of electronic protected health information (ePHI). From there, the proper safeguards can be determined to keep the amount of risk to a manageable and acceptable level.

 

The benefit of a HIPAA Risk Assessment is that once you know the risk level of the organization, you can decide how to lessen those risks effectively. This involves identifying the information your practice needs to protect where that material lives and moves. Once this intelligence has been gathered, a basis for security policies to protect this data can be established.

Here are a few ways that HIPAA IT security policies can be implemented in order to avoid a severe fine for non-compliance:

Access Limitations

Protected Health Information (PHI) is required by HIPAA to be limited to only those who are authorized or granted access rights. As more information is stored on network servers and exchanged among physicians, external partners and patients, covered parties must ensure that data cannot be revealed to snooping and malicious individuals. The system must be set up with password protection and use digital certificates so that only those whom have had files encrypted for them can view the sensitive material.

Transmission Security

PHI must not only be protected while stored, but also when it is being transmitted via a private or public network. This way, the sensitive data is always secure when shared between partners, employees, patients, insurance companies and doctors. Data must be protected at the file level, and not just over communication channels.

Data Integrity

Secure information is not only supposed to be safeguarded against unauthorized viewing, but also against improper destruction or alterations. For those who do not have permission to change the information, access must be denied. In addition, there must be a way for users to know if changes have been made to a document. One way to do this is to employ digital signatures on encrypted data. When a document is encrypted, unauthorized users are denied access, where they cannot edit, delete or view the information. With a digital signature, this ensures that the document was not changed in any way since it was signed originally. The signature will not be valid once the document has been improperly tampered with.

These are some of the ways that HIPAA IT security policies can be implemented. In order to make sure you meet compliance, contact Matthijssen, where we offer HIPAA Risk Analysis, assistance creating IT security policies and ongoing maintenance to ensure HIPAA compliance. Contact us with any questions you may have about HIPAA or Risk Assessment and one of our knowledgeable team members will gladly answer all your questions.

 

save money with an MFP

Save Money with an MFP for Non Profit Organizations

Running a nonprofit organization is truly a labor of love, where the founders have a great passion for a particular cause. Since they do not keep any generated surplus, nonprofits depend on charitable contributions, corporate philanthropy and grants in order to keep their mission alive. In this way, nonprofits, even more than businesses, need to be as economical as possible and find the best way to cut costs.

Technology has been an amazing tool in reducing spending. One excellent example is using multifunction products (MFPs). A multifunction product is an imaging device that combines operations such as printing, faxing, copying and scanning into one machine – but they offer so much more than that. Using an MFP for nonprofit is an ideal way to keep costs down and continue their passionate work. Here we explore the benefits of MFPs further.

Save Money With an MFP by Reducing Equipment Expenses

With an MFP for nonprofit, the organization can use it to replace stand alone devices. There will no longer be a need to purchase a few individual printers, copiers or fax machines. Now, you’ll have one device that can do it all and the organization will save money buying supplies for one machine instead of many. The cost of ink and toner is one of the highest expenses in an office, which can usually be cut in half when using an MFP.

Increase Efficiency

When running a nonprofit organization, its members need to focus on procuring donations, setting up fundraisers and putting out information online. Just like a business, time is money, and the more time wasted, the less the organization will bring in for its cause. Reports have shown that nearly 20% of the time of an employee or organization member is spent managing, filing and fetching paper documents, which equals a huge amount of time wasted and money that can be raised. With an advanced MFP, efficiency is increased because they are based on a paperless filing system and an easy to use interface. It is simple to digitally file documents and quickly retrieve them, making the office energy flow better.

Cut Energy Costs

When you use an MFP for nonprofit, you will be dramatically cutting energy costs within the organization. Each stand alone device needs tons of electricity to keep it running and cooled down. With an MFP, you will only be supplying energy for that one device, which is much cheaper. You will also be helping the environment by consuming less energy and reducing amount of waste that is produced.

Save Space

Whether you believe in Feng Shui or not, there is something to be said about working in a space that is clutter free. When members of the nonprofit organization have more room to move around, it increases efficiency and the overall positive mood in the office. It also gives individuals more space on their desk that may have been occupied by scanners or printers, allowing for more work to get done and more money to be raised.

 

If you have any questions regarding multifunction products or other ways you can streamline office equipment, contact us today!

cloud computing

Is Cloud Computing Right for Your Business?

The cloud is starting to take over how we store, share and secure data either privately or for business. More and more companies are moving to the cloud in some form, influencing other businesses to utilize the technology. Before jumping on the bandwagon, a business needs to do their homework to learn about what the cloud is, and if it’s right for their company. Let us break down the risks and benefits of cloud computing for your business.

About “The Cloud”

Before we get started, lets be clear on the cloud and its models. Cloud computing is any program hosted online and maintained by a software provider. “The cloud” is used to describe any computing that is Internet-based with large quantities of remote servers networked together. This networking creates a centralized data storage system and online access to computer resources or services.

Cloud Deployment Models

The cloud comes in a few different forms, which can add to confusion for those getting started. A public cloud lets you share select files with others, where the private cloud is when only you have access to the content of your own cloud. A community cloud allows a specific community to have infrastructure access and a hybrid cloud combines two or more of the cloud models.

Benefits of the Cloud for Business

The cloud has many benefits for your business, including:

  • Reduced IT Operating Costs: Added server space can be rented for several hours at a time by a company instead of maintaining proprietary servers. Companies no longer need to worry about resource upgrades when a new version of an application is available.
  • Less Maintenance: With the cloud there is no software or hardware maintenance.
  • Increased Speed: An optimized IT infrastructure gives fast access to computing services as needed.
  • Scalability: With cloud computing you get an online environment that is scalable and can handle more work volume, without impacting the performance of the system.
  • Reduced Capital Costs: While only paying for the actual amount used, a company can use large-scale computing services from their provider, then add or remove IT capacity to meet the fluctuating and peak service demands.

Risks of the Cloud for Business

The cloud for business also has some risks that must be considered before making the decision to transition to the cloud:

  • Less Control Over Data: Control of your data must be turned over to a third party, and you may not be willing to do this with all types of information for security reasons.
  • Limited Access: While you have remote access that increases your range of where you can conduct business, if you are in an area with no Internet connection, you can’t get to the information stored in the cloud.
  • Environmental Security: Since cloud environments are so large and often hold a lot of secure data, they are often the targets of hackers, bot malware and other virtual attacks. Your provider must be trusted enough to configure and patch management controls so your data is sufficiently guarded.
  • Inefficient Disaster Recovery: Because your computer resources are hosted by a provider, the provider’s disaster recovery service must be trusted and adequate enough to recover all your critical data in the event of a natural or virtual disaster.

 

Cloud computing has many benefits, but it isn’t always the right fit for all businesses. Contact Matthijssen and our organization will evaluate your business. We will help you decide if the cloud right for your company. If we think it will work, Matthijssen can implement cloud computing for your business. Contact us today!

windows 10 upgrade

What You Need to Know About Upgrading to Windows 10

PC users have been eagerly anticipating the release of Windows 10, which came out on July 29. It includes exciting features such as new Xbox apps, new start and task menus, improved UI, Hyper-V and Windows Defender, to name just a few. It has been confirmed by Microsoft that all Windows 10 updates will be mandatory and automatically installed. Within the coming days and months, Microsoft will be aggressively upgrading users to one of two versions: Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Professional.

During the free upgrade, actions will take place such as pushing via automatic security patch. This is causing many unintended consequences like the possibility of certain applications, monitors, printers and more to stop working. This may particularly be true for applications accessed through specific versions of web browsers. End-users should block the upgrade until they can test their systems to make sure they work, since it is difficult to return to the previous configuration once the upgrade is complete. Here are some specifics of what you need to prepare for with the Windows 10 upgrade:

Nvidia Drivers and Windows 10

For those with Nvidia graphics cards, the Windows 10 automatic install is causing setups with multi-monitors to break, dual card configurations to fail, screens to flicker and is stopping PCs from entirely booting, sending Windows 10 into emergency recovery mode. To remedy the problem, a package called “KB3073930” has been released, which enables users to prevent problems with driver updates from automatically reinstalling the next time there is a Windows update.

Less Flexibility

In the past, when a Windows update breaks something essential to the user, there is the option to refuse the update for an extended amount of time. Service packs are the most common features to be refused in this situation because they break most often. With Windows 10 Home users, it is not an option. If something is broken by a future update, the user is stuck. Windows 10 Professional users will have a little more flexibility and have some control over when the updates are deployed.

Folder Failures

This is just one app that is considered to be better in Windows 8 than Windows 10: the email app. Windows 10 won’t let users to create subfolders when filing their emails. If you are someone who likes this feature, you’re out of luck until a fix is made.

Beware of Wi-Fi Sharing

One more issue worth noting, Windows 10 is by default set up to share your Internet connection over W-Fi. If you want this feature, it’s a great setup. If not, the consequences can be dangerous, so be sure to disable it immediately after you install Windows 10. This can be found in the “Settings” app on the Taskbar.

Contact us if you have any questions regarding the Windows 10 Home or Professional upgrade. We will be happy to help you with any of your concerns.

non profit organizations

5 Ways Non-Profit Organizations Can Save Money with Technology

No matter what sector you work in, technology is an absolute must for success. There’s just no way around it. However, the non-profit sector is one that constantly seems to have difficulty staying on top of the technology game. Given their limited funds, non-profit organizations often rely on antiquated computers (which aren’t very reliable) and networks that are as old as the Stone Age (well, maybe not that old, but considering how fast technology advances, the Stone Age is an appropriate analogy.)

Though the executives of non-profits are well aware of the importance of updated technology, they just don’t know how to stretch their very limited budgets to stay abreast of technological trends.

Well, non-profits can start to breathe a little bit, thanks to the generosity of some of the largest technology companies. Recently, several of the biggest names in technology have started to offer discounts on services to non-profit organizations that meet certain qualifications; however, these discounts aren’t all that non-profits can take advantage of. Here’s a look at five other ways that non-profit organizations can save on technology:

  1. Make use of the right donations. Many SMBs are more than happy to lend a helping hand when it comes to making donations for technology to non-profit organizations. However, despite this generosity, it can be quite trying and time consuming to go through all of these donations. Non-profit execs are good at what they do, and that often doesn’t include technology. When you receive donations, make sure that you are only taking those that will actually benefit you. Also, make sure that you team up with a service provider that can make sure the donated equipment you receive is current.
  2. Take advantage of bartering. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with the bartering system; you do this for me and I’ll do this for you. It has supported many a civilization, and it can support your non-profit organization, too. If you’re hosting a charity event, for example, you can offer to showcase an organization if they will provide you with a certain service. They’ll get exposure and you’ll get the service you need.
  3. Take advantage of discounted licensing and services. Several SaaS organizations offer discounted or even free services and resources to non-profit organizations, including:
    • Google Apps for Non-Profits
    • Office 365
    • Dreamhost
  4. VoIP Solutions. Voice over IP (VoIP) is highly beneficial for all businesses. It will improve communications and collaborations with your team while reducing phone costs. Matthijssen provides VoIP solutions for non profit organizations.
  5. Make the Most of Managed Services. Non-profits have a lot on their plate. With the help of managed services from Matthijssen, handling everything on that plate can be a lot easier. We partner with non-profits, making it possible for non-profits to meet – and exceed – their goals.
remote healthcare technology

Advancements in Health Technology Makes Remote Health Care Possible

Technology has simplified so many things, including health care. In Rochester, Minnesota, a new advance that combines health care and technology has been made by a team at the Mayo Clinic. The team, which was comprised of members of the Division of Engineering and Technology Services and members of the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases has been working on creating devices that monitors, screens, prevents and manages disease in patients for the past 10 years.

After 10 years, the team has created a remarkable new form of remote health care technology: The BodyGuardian Remote Monitoring System.

About the BodyGuardian Remote Health Care Monitoring System

Simply referred to as the BodyGuardian, this monitoring system is a body sensor that is worn by patients who have a history of cardiovascular disease. The device collects physiological data. The data, which is collected on a constant basis, is streamed back to physicians, allowing them to keep a close eye on valuable biometric data. This cutting edge technology keeps patients and their physicians in constant contact, which allows physicians to provide valuable care around the clock.

The BodyGuardian has been cleared by the FDA to monitor arrhythmias that are non-lethal in ambulatory patients.

How the BodyGuardian Remote Monitoring System Works

The BodyGuardian Remote Monitoring System works by performing rhythm monitoring and cardia ECG, which is traditionally performed by large instruments in a hospital setting. The device, which is similar to a bandage, contains a small monitor that delivers information to the BodyGuardian Connect smartphone. The patient is able to be completely mobile and free to go about his or her normal activities while his or her healthcare team monitors important biometric information and cardiac rhythms.

The information that the BodyGuardian collects is delivered wirelessly to a cloud-based mHealth platform, known as the Preventice CarePlatform and PatientCare Portal. The platform collects information in real-time and delivers it to health care professionals who monitor the information. Patient information can be accesses their patients’ information and receive notifications 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from any location via the World Wide Web.

Benefits of the BodyGuardian Remote Monitoring System

The BodyGuardian Remote Monitoring System provides a wealth of benefits to both patients and their health care professionals.

Benefits for patients include:

  • The ability to go about normal daily routines without having to be limited by regular visits to a hospital or doctor’s office.
  • They can receive immediate updates regarding their health and well being via the BodyGuardian Connect smartphone. If doctor’s notice that there are changes in certain threshold amounts that have been set by their doctors to ensure a healthy heart, their doctors can modify their thresholds or their medications to meet their needs.

The benefits for health care professionals include:

  • The ability to provide real-time care for their patients at anytime from any place. This allows health care professionals to provide their patients with the best care possible.

The BodyGuardian Remote Monitoring System also helps to control the cost of health care, which is beneficial for both patients and health care providers.

The development of this type of remote health care has opened up a world of opportunity for further and similar advances for other areas of health care. It’s exciting to think what the future holds.

 

shutterstock_83814199

The Benefits of Managed IT Services for Non-Profit Organizations

When you run a non-profit organization your focus is on your missions to help those in need, which is where it should be, as opposed to worrying about frustrating technology issues. Though any size organization can take advantage of managed IT services, non-profits can truly experience and enjoy the key benefits involved in working with a managed IT services provider.

 

Flat-Rate IT Services

Non-profit organizations already work on tight budgets and truly have limited resources for dealing with technology problems, but the flat-rate model managed IT service providers employ today can help save non-profits money by setting a predictable set monthly fee.

The peace of mind that comes along with knowing exactly what your invoice will look like each month and being able to enjoy maximum uptime with your computer network is worth its weight in gold alone. One, consistent flat rate also makes budgeting for other items that help the organization run more effectively easier.

 

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

Data loss is inevitable but non-profits have an even smaller margin for error when it comes to keeping data and other critical information secure than most businesses do. Having a viable business continuity and disaster recovery plan in place for when disaster does strike, whether in the form of human error or natural disaster, means being able to recover from that event more quickly and with as little negative consequences as possible.

 

Proactive Monitoring and Support

Managed IT Service providers such as Matthijssen are able to provide non-profits additional peace of mind with 24/7/365 proactive monitoring and support. What this means for non-profit organizations is having the ability to count on its technology working when it’s supposed to and how it’s supposed to.

If an issue ever were to occur, a managed IT service provider would resolve it before it became an even larger one and ensuring your organization experiences as little downtime as possible – if any at all.

voIP for business

Unexpected Benefits of Using VoIP for Business

As more and more companies move in the direction of using VoIP for business, they are appreciating benefits that were not initially expected. Most businesses focus on lower cost and increased efficiency that come with taking analog signals and transforming them into digital data via the Internet. It is also quite apparent that advantages like skipping the phone company and less hardware are great perks that come with VoIP. Here we are discussing some unexpected benefits of choosing VoIP for business, whether your company is large or small.

Small Businesses Keep Up With Large Businesses

VoIP offers certain features that would make it virtually impossible for a caller to know that your small business is not a large conglomerate. These features are helping smaller companies stay on par with the big boys and leveling the playing field when it comes to communications. These features include:

  • Call routing for employees on the road (“Follow me/Find me)
  • Music on hold
  • Door buzzer integration
  • “Do not disturb” feature when important meetings are being held
  • Presence technology to find out if an employee is free and how to contact them
  • Auto attendant that directs calls to different departments or individuals
  • Virtual area codes that are used to differentiate between more than one location, making a company appear more international

Features like these can enhance the reputation of a small business and make them look more professional.

Virtual Faxing Feature of VoIP for Business

Virtual or IP Faxing is a great feature of VoIP that saves money, time and space. With virtual faxing, employees can use their VoIP system to send and receive faxes without an actual fax machine. All faxing is done through a web browser and it arrives as an attachment in your email. This saves money on the purchase of new equipment and upgrades when machines are out-of-date. It saves time without having to load paper and wait to receive the fax, as well as not getting stuck with busy signals. Virtual faxes via VoIP also free up space in the office without the need for a machine, paper or phone lines.

Seamless Integration

It has been found that VoIP solutions are able to be integrated seamlessly with other technologies. The reason for this is that they work over SIP protocols at the application layer. This means that VoIP can be unified with other types of communication systems in the infrastructure of an organization.

Free Extras

When you use a landline, there are a lot of extra features that come with hidden fees, which can add up on your monthly bill. With VoIP solutions, many of these features are included with the contract. A few of these extras include:

  • Call conferencing
  • Unlimited long distance calls
  • Call forwarding
  • Voicemail
  • Caller ID

If you have any questions about how VoIP for business can benefit your company, large or small, contact us today! One of our knowledgeable team members is ready to assist you with any questions or concerns you have regarding VoIP solutions and more.

 

MFP security

Should You Worry about MFP Security Concerns?

Many times complacency plagues the ability to transition, but are the concerns about technology, its power, and its security concerns founded? Our phones, household appliances, vehicles, and workstations are transforming before our eyes, and even our printers have jumped into the digital age. MFPs are showing up more and more in every industry, and the security concerns of taking the paper process online has many worried about the potential security threats. Should you worry about MFP security concerns?

What is a MFP, and why is Security a Concern?

An MFP, or Multifunction Printer, is an all-in-one machine that takes the paper process online and streamlines communication in offices. Standard machines typically print, copy, and fax. These machines are hooked up to the computer’s system, and wireless connectivity permits standard machines to print via a WiFi connection, while faxes still send and receive via a standard telephone line. MFPs take it to an entirely new level.

Because MFPs are integrated into a company’s larger infrastructure, new threats arise. MFPs experience a number of different security issues that do not concern traditional 3-in-1 printers.

  • Theft and misplacement of documents, scans, faxes, pictures, and other relevant data stored on the MFP
  • Excessive employee use
  • Unauthorized access, within the company, to confidential documents, faxes, data, and electronic correspondence
  • Information and data leaks
  • Hacks, malware and other security intrusions
  • Device decommissioning
  • Housing information for both compliance and regulatory purposes

As with anything else you do online, at your desk, in a meeting, or over the phone, a lapse in security and proper planning opens the device and the company to potential loss and intrusion. Companies that employ the use of MFPs must have a plan for use, a strategy for protection, and professional support. MFPs are computer machines, and it takes a team of experts, such as Matthijssen, to actively monitor and manage risks before they even occur and take a company down with them.

Should You Worry About MFPs?

It is not enough to plug in and go. In the US and Western Europe, nearly 30 million printers and MFPs are installed in homes and businesses, which means they are all connected the network on which they operate. The potential for intrusion is high, yes, and it is because security and care are often practiced only on PCs and laptops. Honestly, MFPs do not receive the professional attention they need to reduce the risk. Everyone from hackers to employees put these systems at risk. Only 6 percent of employees feel their MFPs are a security risk to their companies. Without a management and audit strategy, a data breach can cause a company thousands, or even millions of dollars.

How to Protect Your MFP

MFP security must be a part of the daily habits. Lock it up and secure it as you would your device, desktops and confidential files. Include the company’s MFPS in the daily network and security habits, consult the experts at Matthijssen to protect the data, secure the network, restrict access, manage the MFPs, and create a security wall that eliminates the risk for a devastating loss.

strategic technology planning

How to Make Strategic Technology Investments

As a business owner, it is necessary that you understand the importance of advanced technology. By just adding technology to automate routine tasks and streamline your processes you can increase business efficiency and expand your operations. Here’s what you need to know to make educated strategic technology investments:

Develop a Strategic Technology Plan

Smart companies develop a process to evaluate their technology goals and requirements before implementing anything new. The first step is to conduct an audit to inventory the technologies already in place and how they meet your goals. This will reveal the strengths and weaknesses of your current system and the overall importance to your business objectives. Your audit should address business requirements and the correlating technology; hardware, software, and service solutions currently in place. Matthijssen can help you with this process.

Evaluate Technology to See if it’s Time to Upgrade

Computers. Computers are most likely to need an upgrade after a software update. If you’ve recently begun using the latest version of your preferred software and computer performance seems detrimentally slow, it may be time to consider new hardware. Having employees working on slower systems can end up costing more than replacing or upgrading the equipment in productivity loss. There are things you can do to get your old hardware back up to speed:

 

  • Add external hard drives
  • Upgrade your processor
  • Install additional memory

 

Telephone systems. As the cornerstone of your communications network, your telephony should be upgraded or replaced quickly if a problem develops. Complaints about lengthy hold times or calls not being answered may require you to put in additional lines or even hire additional phone agents. If you are expecting the volume of calls to rise significantly, consider upgrading your system before any issues arise. Be sure that you have enough time to implement the new system and properly train employees.

 

Purchase New Technology. If it has been decided that your company will need to do more than upgrade your current hardware and systems, it is important to answer these key questions when considering making any new technology purchases:

 

  • Will my company see an immediate gain from added technology?
  • What benefits are possible?
  • How long will it take for us to achieve our goals?
  • What is required to implement and manage the technology?
  • Will new hardware and applications support future growth?

 

In addition, when conducting research on potential solutions, be sure to read customer reviews. Get feedback from business owners you know before making any final purchase decision. Matthijssen will help you strategically plan for your technology to meet your current needs and your needs in the future.

 

By using strategic planning in developing and implementing a technology plan, you will avoid bad investments, decrease spending, and provide your employees with the right tools to provide customer satisfaction. By outlining your objectives first, you will have a greater chance of success that positively impacts the people in your company.