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What is Telehealth; provide healthcare virtually.

What is Telehealth?

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) defines telehealth as the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support and promote long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, and public health and health administration. Technologies include videoconferencing, the internet, store-and-forward imaging, streaming media, and landline and wireless communications.

Telehealth services may be provided, for example, through audio, text messaging, or video communication technology, including videoconferencing software. For purposes of reimbursement, certain payors, including Medicare and Medicaid, may impose restrictions on the types of technologies that can be used.1 Those restrictions do not limit the scope of the HIPAA Notification of Enforcement Discretion regarding COVID-19 and remote telehealth communications.

Where can health care providers conduct telehealth?

OCR expects health care providers will ordinarily conduct telehealth in private settings, such as a doctor in a clinic or office connecting to a patient who is at home or at another clinic. Providers should always use private locations and patients should not receive telehealth services in public or semi-public settings, absent patient consent or exigent circumstances.

If telehealth cannot be provided in a private setting, covered health care providers should continue to implement reasonable HIPAA safeguards to limit incidental uses or disclosures of protected health information (PHI). Such reasonable precautions could include using lowered voices, not using speakerphone, or recommending that the patient move to a reasonable distance from others when discussing PHI.

"Public" vs "Non-Public" facing remote communication

A “non-public facing” remote communication product is one that, as a default, allows only the intended parties to participate in the communication.

Public-facing products are not acceptable forms of remote communication for telehealth because they are designed to be open to the public or allow wide or indiscriminate access to the communication

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Protect your data from Coronavirus (COVID-19) Scams

Coronavirus (COVID-19) isn’t just a growing threat to public health – it’s also a growing threat to your company’s cybersecurity. From using scary subject lines to adopting faux official letterhead, bad actors are scrambling to use the climate of fear and disruption caused by COVID-19 to their advantage.

Disasters, emergencies, and global pandemics provide a target-rich environment for cybercriminals to launch phishing attacks and employ other dirty tricks to gain access to your data. It only takes one staffer opening a bogus email, clicking on a dangerous link, or downloading a malware-laden attachment for them to succeed. Here are three ways that you can act immediately to prevent a potentially disastrous Coronavirus-related data breach.

Plan, Preserve, and Protect

Use expert guidance from agencies like CISA to prepare your organization for risks posed by COVID-19. Is your cybersecurity plan adequate for the unique challenges presented by increased virtualization if your staff is quarantined or working remotely for safety? Two-factor authentication and other tools like VPN help keep your organization’s data and systems safe even when workers aren’t in the office.

Trust but Verify

Get updates about COVID-19, scams and frauds related to the Coronavirus pandemic, and its impact on cybersecurity from trusted, official sources, and encourage your staff to only use vetted information for planning and communications. Be wary of any email with a COVID-19-related subject line, attachment, or hyperlink. Avoid sharing or clicking on social media posts, text messages, or IMs offering Coronavirus information, vaccination, treatment or cures.

Make Prevention a Priority

Refresh every staffer’s training on how to spot phishing scams and online fraud. Remind your staff that government agencies will never ask for sensitive personal, financial or business information via email. Reinforce that clicking on links or opening attachments from unfamiliar sources is a quick way for scammers to infect your systems with malware. Employee Security Awareness Training and Phishing Simulations can help make sure that your staff is ready to spot and defend against attack.

Constant vigilance against cyberattacks is a smart strategy for any business. In these uncertain times, we’re happy to be your trusted source for the tools and strategies that you need to keep cybercriminals out of your business.

Your Business is at Risk. Upgrade to Keep it Secure.

Is your business still using outdated systems? Your company could be at risk. 

Cyber threats can not only cripple a small and midsize company but also tarnish its reputation. If your company is using outdated legacy devices and running on unsupported versions of Windows operating system, it’s time to upgrade.

Stay on Outdated Systems and Become a Victim of Cyberattacks

 In 2018, cyberattacks cost businesses an average of $1.1 million per attack. With ransomware attacks and data breaches becoming a norm of everyday life, keeping your computers secure has become a priority for businesses. Hence continuing to use outdated systems is not only going to risk the business but also cost in millions.

As of January 14, 2020, Windows 7 is no longer be supported by Microsoft, which means if you are still using Windows 7 post this date, your computers will be vulnerable to cyberattacks. You will also risk being non-compliant to the industry regulations, which may affect your customers and thereby your business.

Upgrade and Stop Worrying About Security

 The security benefits of the newest version of Windows are hard to deny. Old operating systems are slow and become incompatible with software over time.

The newer version of Windows has improved privacy, transparency and enhanced security features which makes it a must for every organization. It also comes with a variety of productivity-boosting features and functions, making it easier to use.

Businesses that have not already upgraded their systems should begin to work on a migration strategy immediately.

Let us help you audit your systems and address any security vulnerabilities today.

Schedule a FREE Initial Consultation below

Windows 7: End of Support and HIPAA Compliance

We are now less than 2 weeks away from the official Windows 7: End of Support. For HIPAA compliance business, this should be a requirement for your business to update to the latest version, Windows 10. End of support means NO MORE UPDATES, SECURITY PATCHES or overall tech support from Microsoft. This means not updating to the latest version will leave your IT infrastructure vulnerable to internet attacks and more. 

Tech Travel Tips

As the holidays approach more and more people will be traveling to visit family and friends. We thought that we would provide you with some helpful tips to keep your technology safe and in good working order as you travel.

 

 

USB Charging Stations

We have all seen the USB charging stations popping up everywhere, especially at airports. While these seem to be a much appreciated convenience that rescues our dying devices, it can also be a disastrous trap.

These public USB stations can be compromised by criminals looking to steal your data, or infect your device with malware.  It is best to bring the adaptor and plug your device directly into a power outlet. 

Public WIFI

It seems that now everywhere you go offers free WIFI as a service, but should you really connect? This can be very risky, in that everyone connected to the same WIFI can see all the data going to and from your device. The good news is that if you are using https:// your data is encrypted (the content is encrypted, but sender and receiver are in clear text). 

The best precaution to take while traveling is to us a VPN when connecting your device to public WIFI. There are several VPN’s available and all are relatively easy to use and not to expensive; well worth it to protect your device and data.

 

Smart Speaker Spies

Amazon and Google both offer smart speakers that provide a variety of services based on voice activated commands. They also both allow third party developers to create voice apps utilizing the functionality of these devices. In the past there have been concerns over employees of Amazon or Google utilizing the always on microphone feature to eavesdrop on users. With third party developers being allowed to create and deploy apps for these devices the concern is multiplied by every third party app developed.

While Amazon and Google have vetting protocols in place to ensure that criminals can not publish malicious apps for these devices, recently Security Research Labs found two possible hacking scenarios that apply to Amazon Alexa and Google Home. You can see a full description of both these hacks here https://srlabs.de/bites/smart-spies/

SRL reported these hacks to Amazon and Google before they made them public, so that the companies could work to resolve these issues.  As with all connected devices criminals will attempt to use these smart speakers to gain valuable information. Keep in mind that unless you have muted or unplugged these devices the microphones are always on. These devices should never request your password, and if they do you should log into your account from another device to confirm the request. Also using 2 factor authentication for accounts linked to these devices will help to mitigate security concerns.

 

Pa$$Words

Strong passwords are extremely important to your personal cyber security. The list of accounts and passwords we are required to use is constantly growing. From your bank account to Amazon or Netflix, you have passwords for almost everything you do online.

As security concerns become more prevalent many of these accounts require minimum levels of password strength, and at the very least will inform you when you are using a weak password. Remembering all these complex passwords is very difficult. Especially if you take proper security precautions and use a different password for every account.

With the passwords we use becoming more complex many options have appeared to help you  keep track of the ever increasing list of passwords. Most of the browsers that you use offer the ability to store your passwords for you, and automatically log you in. While some of these are more secure than others, they are not usually the ideal solution from a security perspective.

There is another option, password managers are becoming increasingly popular, and are generally a more secure option. Some charge a monthly fee, but most offer free versions.

Below I have listed a few different password managers. They have free versions, but also offer paid versions with more features.

Bitwarden http://bitwarden.com

Last Pass http://lastpass.com

Dash Lane http://dashlane.com

Public Wi-Fi

One of the greatest in modern amenities, free Wi-Fi is common occurrence in shops, hotels, airports, and even places like libraries and parks.

While free Wi-Fi is amazing, and almost always better than slugging through on your mobile network, anyone connected to the network can see what your sending/receiving (email or website content for example).

You are extremely vulnerable while connected to public Wi-Fi; although if you are using certain apps, or connected using https your data is encrypted.

One way to better insure you are protected is to use a VPN or Virtual Private Network whenever you are connecting to any public network.

Fake Browser Update is Ransomware

A recent trend in cyber attacks have taken the form of browser updates. When you open your browser it informs you that it is out of date and needs to be updated, when you click on update the malware is deployed. This attack can take the form of Chrome (pictured above) , Internet Explorer, Opera, …

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The rise of Hacking as a Service (HaaS)

Criminal enterprises have taken note of the growth in popularity of as-a-service products, copying this tactic to create Hacking-as-a-Service (HaaS). HaaS have provide some of the same services as the legitimate as-a-service offerings such as: live chat support, 24/7 phone support, monthly payment plans, discounts for purchasing year long subscriptions, and even marketing campaigns to …

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