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Help Desk, Customer Service, Cloud & Security Insights, with a Side of Altruism!

How to Implement a Proactive vs. Reactive IT Help Desk

Proactive vs. Reactive It Help Desk

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The typical conception of the IT help desk is a group of support people ready to be contacted by employees with any number of types of problems, and the help desk staff willing and able to go about resolving these issues--a process that is "reactive" in nature.

But, what if those problems never even occurred? Or, what if they were mitigated before the customer even had them?

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How a Mobile Help Desk Solves These Top 5 Obstacles to Providing High Quality Customer Service

Mobile Help Desk Solves Top 5 Obstacles to High Quality Customer Service

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A mobile help desk is a tool used by organizations to better communicate with their customers. It provides the opportunity to not only standardize communications but also to improve the speed of replies. Help desks initially began as ticketing systems to handle customer concerns but have grown to become a one-stop-shop for customer service best practices. What can a mobile help desk do for you today? It provides insight into the experiences of your customers and internal features including the performance of your support teams.

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A 2021 Snapshot: 5 Main Causes of HIPAA Violations in Healthcare

HIPAA Compliance Violations

Photo Attribution: Ananieva Elena/Shutterstock.com

In the United States, healthcare organizations are required to abide by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. This act provides guidelines pertaining to the handling of patient information across a number of platforms. When healthcare organizations are looking for cloud solutions to manage their data, ensuring that they are HIPAA compliant is a necessity.

The Office for Civil Rights in the United States periodically conducts HIPAA compliance audits on healthcare organizations. Most recently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) performed audits of 166 covered entities and 41 business associates to check on compliance with selected provisions of the HIPAA Rules. Whether done through ignorance or negligence, HIPAA violations often come with large fines that can range from hundreds of thousands of dollars, to millions, depending on the severity.

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7 Top IT Healthcare Security Tools & Strategies for 2021

7 Top IT Healthcare Security Tools and Strategies for 2021

Photo Attribution: Solveig Been/Shutterstock.com

In the health sector, priority is always given to saving lives while the security of personal health records (PHR) is sometimes overlooked. This is because, in comparison to emergencies, the storage of information seems very insignificant. As a result, an increasing number of healthcare providers are facing the consequences.

A new report by Black Book Market Research forecasts that data breaches against the healthcare industry are likely to triple in 2021. The survey also found that 75% of the organizations responding felt they were not prepared to act when a cyberattack hits and almost all (96%) felt that cyber criminals were ahead and outpacing their organizations.

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Proposed 2021 HIPAA Regulation Changes: What Can You Expect?

Proposed 2021 HIPAA Regulation Changes

Photo Attribution: Artur Szczybylo/Shutterstock.com

HIPAA has become more important now than ever before as more people are relying on telemedicine and other forms of online care. In March 2020, the U.S. Office for Civil Rights (OCR) division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it would not apply penalties for "non-compliance with the HIPAA Rules related to the good faith provision of telehealth during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency." This mandate will continue into 2021 as more people utilize Telehealth services across the nation.

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Be Aware: Top Inconspicuous Cybersecurity Threats When Working From Home

Work From Home Cybersecurity Threats

Photo Attributions: Tanuta/Evgeny Bornyakov/Shutterstock.com

2020 saw remote work become a necessity, regardless of the size of the business or the number of employees. To put this into perspective, Upwork claims that 41.8% of working Americans were working remotely at the end of 2020. An estimated 26.7% will still be working from home through 2021, while 36.2 million Americans (22% of the workforce) will be working remotely by 2025. This adds up to an 87% increase from the number of remote workers before the COVID-19 pandemic.

How have cybercriminals responded to the work-from-home trend? It is safe to say, they are quite happy with the new arrangement. Adding to COVID-19-related fears among the population, cybercriminals are using work from home environments as a new gateway to conduct acts of data theft.

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HIPAA-Compliant Text Messaging and Why You Need It

HIPAA-Compliant Secure Text Messaging

Running a hospital presents a variety of unique challenges. It is like many other businesses as it requires effective leadership and communication to run smoothly, but the extra factor is the importance of timeliness. All businesses require quick employee response, but this could not be truer for a healthcare facility. Patients and their health can be unpredictable. There should be a method of reaching healthcare professionals promptly while still protecting the sensitive information being transmitted.

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4 Important Areas for Your 2021 Cybersecurity Budget

Cybersecurity Planning

Photo Attribution: Artur Szczybylo/Shutterstock.com

As more employees begin to work from home, and cybercriminals become increasingly more sophisticated in their abilities, unsuspecting tech users have become more vulnerable. With this in mind, there is no better time for employers and IT leaders to develop a cybersecurity response plan and back it with a budget that fits the size and needs of the organization.

When it comes to cybersecurity, an organization can never sit still, as trends and risks are constantly evolving. In most cases, the cost of developing a solid plan and budget for cybersecurity can seem like a small price to pay in comparison to the damage a cyberattack can cause to an organization's reputation and bottom line. What questions should you be asking of your plan and what important areas should you consider for your budget?

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4 Reasons Why It is Important to Have Secure Business Associates

HIPAA Business Associates Data Security

The number of breaches of unsecured protected health information (PHI) on record in the United States is staggering and continually increasing. Significantly, these records only cover breaches affecting 500 or more individuals. One can only wonder how many more breaches have occurred on a smaller scale. The types of breaches range from theft and hacking, to improper disposal and unauthorized access as a result of negligence. According to the HIPAA Journal, between 2009 and 2019 there were 3,054 healthcare data breaches involving more than 500 records. Those breaches have resulted in the loss, theft, exposure, or impermissible disclosure of 230,954,151 healthcare records. That equates to more than 69.78% of the population of the United States.

Such incidents can be avoided if covered entities (companies involved in healthcare) ensure that all of their business associates are secured. There are many reasons why it is important to have secure business associates. Being aware of these reasons may prompt covered entities to take the necessary measures to protect their clientele's information:

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Caution: Your PHI May Be at Risk Using At-Home Medical Devices

Home Medical Device IoMT Security

Photo Attribution: The Cute Design Studio/Shutterstock.com

Over the last few years, personal medical devices have been used to monitor and transmit patient health data from home using the internet. Devices part of the so-called "Internet of Medical Things" (IoMT) trend include insulin pumps, heart and glucose monitors, defibrillators, pacemakers, and more.

These particular medical devices are meant to create efficiencies for both patients and healthcare professionals alike. However, according to Help Net Security, "researchers have identified a growing number of software vulnerabilities and demonstrated the feasibility of attacks on these products," leading "to targeted attacks to both individuals and entire product classes."

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