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The Focus is on Data Security

It is not difficult to understand why there is a current focus on data security. Target had 70 million records compromised along with 40 million cards. They are facing 100+ lawsuits and numerous investigations by the AG and FTC. HIPAA breaches have impacted more than 31 million individuals resulting in class action suits and government investigations.

The OCR (Office of Civil Rights) is becoming more active. They have settled 19 suits since 2011 totaling $22,546.500. These numbers will likely pale in comparison to the next 12 months.

What does the OCR look for? A few of the identified problems include: failure to conduct a Risk Analysis in response to a new environment; portable devices; and workforce numbers.

Employees need to be trained and trained on an on-going basis. Appropriate sanctions need to be applied. Security measures need to be installed to monitor unauthorized access such as workforce members repeatedly snooping on patients.

Portable devices need encryption and security measures. Policies and procedures are needed which address incident identification, reporting and response. Access to unauthorized users needs to be restricted.

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Do You Know The Value Of Your Data?

In the 1930’s when the newly formed SEC demanded that public companies account for their true costs and profits in regular reports, most of their assets were physical – machines, factories, buildings, land – and assessing their value was straightforward. Now the most important assets for many companies are comparatively abstract and may include patents, copyrights and trademarks. Increasingly, a good chunk of the value of a company lies in the fields of a data base and in secret algorithms used to cut and combine data to reveal new insights. Think of Dun and Bradstreet – they only buy and sell information. It is nothing that you can touch.

Determining the value of your data will also determine your budget to protect it. Obviously, the more value it has, the more to be budgeted to protect it.

To learn more, contact Wilson Technology Group or your IT provider.
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An IT Perspective on an Office Move

Moving an office is a daunting undertaking that, if improperly planned, can add unnecessary expense and lost productivity.  From an IT consultant or network administrator’s perspective, an office move involves far more than simply moving physical objects from one location to another.  Since most problems arise once the move nears completion, plenty of planning should go into the move as early as possible so that the actual move is a seamless as possible.

When planning an office move, there are three basic considerations:

  1. What are your office’s current technology needs?
  2. What are your future technology and infrastructure needs
  3. What is your budget?

For more information, visit Wilson Technology Group at:  www.wilsontechgroup.com

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HIPAA Breach Settlement Fine

What is happening with HIPAA breaches and fines?  The Hospice of North Idaho (HONI) has greed to pay the US Department of Health and Human Services  (HHS)  $50,000 to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Security Rule.  This is the first settlement involving a breach of unprotected electronic protected health information (EPHI) affecting fewer than 500 individuals.

The investigation conducted by the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) followed a breach report submitted by HONI as required by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act reporting the theft of a laptop computer containing the electronic protected health information (EPHI) of 441 patients.  Over the course of the investigation, OCR discovered that HONI had not conducted a risk analysis to safeguard EPHI.  Further, HONI did not have in place policies or procedures to address mobile device security as required by the HIPAA Security Rule.

Don’t leave yourself vulnerable.   Get compliant….stay compliant.