If your company is looking for an information technology consultant near Annapolis , you may be interested in learning about flat-rate IT service. This service is an affordable way for companies to receive crucial IT support, which can help businesses run smoothly and productively.
IT support includes IT management, incident response, and disaster recovery. Flat-rate IT services may include server support, network management, desktop management, and unlimited remote support. Flat-rate IT service allows a company to have access to these beneficial support services for one low, steady monthly cost. The fixed cost makes it easier for companies to stay within their budget, and can free up extra money to spend on other necessary business costs. A flat-rate service also ensures that your company won’t be subject to unexpected costs associated with IT problems, which can occur suddenly and might otherwise be very costly for your company to overcome.
In today’s fast-paced business world, you need to be sure that you can rely on your information technology systems to work properly on a consistent basis. If you experience issues with hardware or software, it can decrease your employees’ productivity and hinder client relationships. Proactive IT services in Annapolis can benefit your operations in a number of ways. Any problems that do arise can be addressed before they spread system-wide, and your IT consultants will be able to respond more quickly to issues that need fixing. Take a look at this infographic from the experts in IT service management at FullScope IT to learn more about how proactive IT services can benefit you and your business. Please share with your coworkers and business associates.
Data protection is one of the biggest issues facing today’s businesses. A data backup failure could cripple your business and put information about your company and your clients in danger. If your business needs data backup in Annapolis , consider these strategies for protecting your information.
Make Data Backup Automatic
One of the best ways to make data backup seamless is to make it automatic. Talk to an IT consultant about ways you can automate your data backup to both a local hard drive or server and a third party, off-site service. Your IT consultant can help you evaluate your options, such as cloud backups and other data backup mechanisms. Automating data backup as much as possible eliminates human error and gives you the peace of mind of knowing that your information is always safe.
Use a Full-Service Security System
Backing up your data so that you don’t lose important information is only one part of data protection. The other part is protecting your data from intruders, viruses, and malware. A full-service security suite provides the best protection you can get—even better than a firewall, which only protects your software after your network becomes infected. Anti-virus systems and spam filters are also crucial components of a security system. Your IT support expert can help you find the right security system for your business.
Have an Emergency Plan
According the U.S. Small Business Administration , up to 60% of small businesses never open again after a data failure. Don’t let your business become a statistic. The worst time to decide how you would cope with a data loss is when it happens. Make IT incident management part of your operating plan so you know exactly what steps you will take to recover from a loss of data so you can get back to your normal activities as soon as possible.
HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, sets the standard for protecting sensitive patient data. Any company that deals with protected health information (PHI) must ensure that all the required physical, network, and process security measures are in place and followed.
This includes covered entities (CE), anyone who provides treatment, payment and operations in healthcare, and business associates (BA), anyone with access to patient information and provides support in treatment, payment or operations. Subcontractors, or business associates of business associates, must also be in compliance.
The HIPAA Privacy Rule addresses the saving, accessing and sharing of medical and personal information of any individual, while the HIPAA Security Rule more specifically outlines national security standards to protect health data created, received, maintained or transmitted electronically, also known as electronic protected health information (ePHI).
If you are hosting your data with a HIPAA compliant hosting provider, they must have certain administrative, physical and technical safeguards in place, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The physical and technical safeguards are most relevant to services provided by your HIPAA compliant host as listed below, with detail on what constitutes a HIPAA compliant data center.
– Physical safeguards include limited facility access and control, with authorized access in place.
– All covered entities, or companies that must be HIPAA compliant, must have policies about use and access to workstations and electronic media. This includes transferring, removing, disposing and re-using electronic media and electronic protected health information (ePHI).
– Technical safeguards require access control to allow only the authorized to access electronic protected health data. Access control includes using unique user IDs, an emergency access procedure, automatic log off and encryption and decryption.
– Audit reports, or tracking logs, must be implemented to keep records of activity on hardware and software. This is especially useful to pinpoint the source or cause of any security violations.
– Technical policies should also cover integrity controls, or measures put in place to confirm that ePHI hasn’t been altered or destroyed.
– IT disaster recovery and offsite backup are key to ensure that any electronic media errors or failures can be quickly remedied and patient health information can be recovered accurately and intact.
– Network, or transmission, security is the last technical safeguard required of HIPAA compliant hosts to protect against unauthorized public access of ePHI. This concerns all methods of transmitting data, whether it be email, Internet, or even over a private network, such as a private cloud.
A supplemental act was passed in 2009 called The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act which supports the enforcement of HIPAA requirements by raising the penalties of health organizations that violate HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules. The HITECH Act was formed in response to health technology development and increased use, storage and transmittal of electronic health information.
FullScopeIT Inc. is your preferred Baltimore area HIPAA Compliant IT services provider .
Resources: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
If your business has 10 or more employees, it may be beneficial to hire a business technology firm that provides IT services such as IT support, technical support, IT consulting, network management services, and data security, backup, and recovery services. The more employees you have, the more crucial it is that your business’ IT services run smoothly and effectively. If you’re looking into budget IT services near Annapolis for your business, try to find a business technology firm that offers flat-rate IT support.
Flat-rate IT support is the perfect solution for medium-sized businesses. Your IT services company will provide IT consulting to help you determine what IT support services will be most beneficial for your business. The consultant will then show you how to implement these services to maximize efficiency and productivity.
Flat-rate IT packages include basic, necessary IT services that are billed to your company at a flat rate every month. These IT services typically include server support, network management, desktop management, and secure and unlimited remote technical support.
Data security is a crucial part of any company’s managed IT services. Data security includes data backup and data recovery services, which can save your company a lot of time, money, and stress in the event of a data loss. If your company has 10 or more computers and no data security, it may be vulnerable to a data breach, making the company liable for costly financial reimbursements to customers. A data security consulting firm near Baltimore can help your company protect its data and avoid data loss. Here are some of the ways your company may be at risk for data loss.
Employees may make a company vulnerable to data loss if they routinely download personal files to the company computer, click on links or attachments in spam emails, leave their computer unattended, allow non-employees to access their computers, visit restricted websites, or have weak passwords. If employees also have mobile devices, such as cell phones, tablets, or netbooks, on which they can access, store, or transmit sensitive company data, they are further putting the company at risk for a data breach.
No Data Backup
Without a data backup and IT disaster recovery plan in place, a company has very few options should a data loss or data breach occur. 62% of companies have no data backup system in place, making them extremely vulnerable to a devastating data loss that could ruin the company’s finances and reputation. An experienced IT security consulting firm can help your company develop and maintain simple IT security and data security rules for employees.
No Data Security Policies
Another major mistake companies make is to not have a clear data security policy, or to not ensure that all employees are aware of and understand the data security policy. All employees must be trained in data security methods, and should be held accountable for any deviation from the company’s data security policy. Employees should not be allowed to share passwords or allow non-employees to have access to their computers or company devices.
If you expect your small business to stay afloat in today’s technologically driven society, it is important to work with a team of qualified IT professionals in Annapolis. Different IT security services operate based on varying types of payment methods, but flat-rate service may be the most advantageous of them all. Keep reading if you are interested in learning about the benefits of flat-rate IT services.
Working on the Same Team
Running a successful business typically requires the formation of productive and mutually profitable relationships with other entities, such as consulting firms. In many cases, however, these outside organizations depend on a problem arising within your business in order to profit. With flat-rate IT services, this is not the case; instead, the IT service profits when your business avoids technological problems rather than incurring them. Instead of hiring an IT service when something goes wrong, you will be paying for IT support that makes sure everything stays right. Since you pay a flat fee each month, the IT service stands to gain more when everything continues to run smoothly. Since this is the case, your IT professionals will have the same goals as your business, which helps to establish and foster a mutually beneficial partnership.
Spending Your Money Wisely
With flat-rate IT services, there is never any guessing. You know what you are paying for, how much you are paying, and when it is time to pay. Unlike other types of IT support that charge you varying amounts for their assistance in your time of need, flat-rate IT services keep you ahead of the game; this is crucial in the world of business.
Waiting in the Wings
Since your IT professionals receive a monthly fee to ensure the smooth operation of the technological aspects of your company, they always have eyes on you. This means that any problems that may arise can be dealt with quickly and efficiently before they lead to larger problems or cause costly damages. Without a quality IT service, these problems may go unnoticed until they have developed into serious concerns that can cripple your company.
When your company has access to patients’ medical records, financial data, and other sensitive information, you need to be aware of the risks of a security breach. If your company is audited by the Office of Civil Rights and found to be noncompliant with HIPAA rules, the legal and financial consequences can be severe. In August 2015, a federal appeals court found that the Federal Trade Commission also has the authority to investigate and prosecute cases of failure to protect private consumer information. Since anyone can file a complaint against you, it’s important to ensure that all of your sensitive data is adequately protected. By working with an agency that specializes in HIPAA compliance in Annapolis, you can take the following steps:
Limit the information you have. Only collect personal consumer information that your company absolutely needs, and do not keep it longer than necessary. For example, if your company needs to use consumers’ credit or debit card numbers, do not store that information, since it can then become vulnerable to hackers.
Control data access and require secure passwords. Make sure that your employees do not have access to personal consumer information if they do not need to, and limit administrative access to those employees who need it for their jobs. Protect all sensitive information by requiring complex passwords, and use other methods such as authentication to increase security.
Keep your network secure. Monitoring network activity to identify suspicious behavior can help reduce your risk of a security breach. Using firewalls to prevent unnecessary data access inside your network can also deter hackers. If anyone has remote access to your network, it’s important to make sure that those connections are also secure.
Run a security risk analysis. There is no substitute for having your system’s security examined by a skilled IT security professional. An IT consulting agency that offers HIPAA compliance assessments can analyze your system and identify weak spots in your security, ensuring that your company remains compliant with federal regulations.
If your company stores, transfers, or receives protected health information, it’s imperative to make sure that you are in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HIPAA requires companies that are in possession of consumers’ private health information to take the steps necessary to ensure that this information is kept private, such as using encrypted data, having an effective password policy, and having a plan in place for emergencies. Failing to secure sensitive information can leave your company vulnerable to massive fines and even criminal charges.
If you receive a notification of an HIPAA audit by the Office for Civil Rights, you will have two weeks or less to prepare. This means that your company should be prepared for the possibility of an audit at all times. Your first step toward ensuring that you are in compliance with HIPAA rules is to obtain a security risk analysis from an agency specializing in network security consulting near Annapolis. Rather than trying to do a risk analysis yourself, it’s best to rely on the services of an experienced professional to ensure that nothing is overlooked. Once you have identified any problem areas, such as lack of encryption, you can begin working to make your network secure.
At FullScope IT, our IT consultants and computer support specialists near Washington, DC hold themselves to the highest standards for customer service. This is why we consistently have very happy customers who continue to use our IT consultants for their IT security, IT support, and IT management needs.
Watch this video for a testimonial from an extremely satisfied customer. This customer gives an excellent review highlighting FullScope IT’s outstanding customer service. The hard work and commitment of our experienced IT consultants and computer support specialists ensure that no company will experience data security issues or technical support issues when working with us.