For those who deserve our utmost respect… 

For those who deserve our utmost respect… 

November 11th is Veterans Day… 

A day where we stand united to honor those who are currently serving and those who have served – those who sacrificed for the common good of our country. 


And for all they’ve done, we say thank you. 

Thank you to those who have and those who continue to place themselves in harrowing situations in the name of protecting our freedom. 

However you’re planning on spending the day, remember to take a moment to think about these exceptional men and women.

Veterans Day

NIST Releases Guidance Solutions for PACS Ecosystem

NIST Releases Guidance Solutions for PACS Ecosystem

Given how medical providers struggle with ensuring their data is safe, something had to be done to offer guidance. Read this blog about a new cybersecurity plan.  

Healthcare Tech Security

The picture archiving and communication system (PACS) is an ecosystem that stores images that are gathered from medical imaging technology. This ecosystem offers a convenient platform where medical providers can store and access these vital images. However, this ecosystem is vulnerable to cyberattacks.

In order to provide protection for this confidential data, the NIST National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence recently released proposed guidance to assist healthcare delivery organizations with securing their picture archiving and communication systems. In addition, they also released a project aimed at providing an example solution for building stronger security controls.

The guidance material called, Securing Picture Archiving and Communication System, includes aspects that help health organizations design an approach, architecture, and security elements for the PACS ecosystem, including easy-to-follow how-to guidance.

The Evolution of Digital Capabilities

As image-making technologies have taken a gigantic leap over the last decade, now confidential data and vital imaging are uploaded in a digital format by providers across the globe. This adds a huge level of convenience and gives providers the ability to easily store and share this content. The systems that house these images and data are typically stored in image-intensive areas like the radiology department and are also uploaded to each patient’s electronic health record (EHR).

But as this process adds easier accessibility and organization in a digital format, including limiting the time to takes for doctors to make a diagnosis, the technology has also opened the door to more cyber threats. And many medical providers struggle with auditing user accounts and monitoring them properly to suspect any abnormal behavior. Medical providers also struggle with ensuring that data moves safely across the network and also with monitoring access by its users, which can lead to a drop in system performance.

Goals of the Project

With the project set forth by the NIST National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, their goals include the following:

  • Identify who uses the PACS systems
  • Determine the process between the user and system
  • Perform a risk assessment
  • Identify appropriate mitigating security tools
  • Design an example solution

The ultimate goal here is to assist provider organizations with reducing the chance of a cyber breach or substantial data loss, while also minimizing any disruptions with their systems. This also puts emphasis on enabling quick access to imaging and important data without this confidential data becoming vulnerable to an attack, which also offers peace of mind for patient privacy.

Broad Capabilities Equals Broad Threat Landscape

So what makes these systems so vulnerable? This occurs from the broad capabilities of this technology. The PACS connectivity of the ecosystem works with a variety of different technologies that include medical imaging devices and other systems that help to manage and maintain archives of medical images. The role of PACS is to interact with medical imaging devices, connect with other clinical systems, and allow users from multiple locations to review images that lead to faster and higher quality patient care.

With such a broad spectrum of capabilities involved with the PACS ecosystem, the means a broad landscape for threat.

Happy Halloween 👻

Happy Halloween 👻

Happy Halloween!

What better time than now to tell some scary stories?

Happy Halloween

Ok, so they’re not “scary stories” per se, but facts that will alarm AND spook you.

Here’s Your Special Halloween Treat

Take action to protect against cybercrime. Hit the reply button to schedule your free cybersecurity consultation with us.

In the meantime, have fun this year, whether you’re taking the kids out trick-or-treating or heading to a few parties.

Have a great day!

Fitbit Amplifies Healthcare by Offering Fitness and Coaching Platform

Fitbit Amplifies Healthcare by Offering Fitness and Coaching Platform

Fitbit, a leader in health and technology, has recently introduced a new digital product to help individuals reach their goals faster with a more manageable approach.

Fitbit Healthcare

Fitbit Care is a combination of the company’s popular fitness tracking devices with a new health coaching platform that addresses everything from wellness and prevention to chronic conditions and complex care management. Designed to promote wellness and improve disease management and prevention with tailored health and wellness services for a more personalized application. This exciting new enterprise attained through the acquisition of Twine Health, a small Boston-based software startup, will continue to support the fitness tracking Fitbit is known for while also addressing services like medication adherence, smoking cessation and managing chronic conditions.

Fitbit Care will be offered via the company’s business-to-business unit, Fitbit Health Solutions. Following in the footsteps of Apple and Amazon as they move into the healthcare system the health coaching platform was designed for integration into organizations with healthcare professionals on staff or businesses that include health plans, workforce health providers, and health systems. The Fitbit Care approach focuses on key tenets of behavioral psychology and learning science as the core principles of the application. By putting people at the center of their own health journey it offers personalized care with more sustainable behavior changes with offers better long-term results. at the core of the experience. Users enrolled in the care plans also have access to health coaches, who will offer personalized fitness and exercise plans along with other wellness advice. The coaching sessions are offered through remote communication and face-to-face meetings. Individuals who are enrolled in the health coaching component of Fitbit will have access to the new Fitbit Plus app, which allows users to track metrics including blood glucose, blood pressure, and medication adherence, both from Fitbit and other third-party connected devices. The social component of connecting through groups also encourages healthy behavior as users keep each other accountable, motivated and encouraged as they exercise together in social groups. This enables an entire team to participate in the health coaching experience.

According to the Fitbit Care website clients have seen dramatic increases in coach panel size, often upwards of 300% in some cases. The main goal is for users to have the ability to connect with their doctors through the Fitbit Care platform. This new premium fitness coaching feature will allow doctors to have the ability to check on a user’s daily metrics and stay up-to-date on the effectiveness of the treatment for specific issues. Essentially, Fitbit wants to be the one place everyone connects over health and supporting patients beyond the walls of the doctor’s office is a big step in this direction by providing accountability, support, guidance and resources that remove some of the most difficult barriers in healthcare outcomes.

Key Ways to Handle End of Windows 7 for Healthcare Organizations

Key Ways to Handle End of Windows 7 for Healthcare Organizations

Top Ways to Handle the End of Windows 7 in the Healthcare Industry

Microsoft will end its support for Windows 7 soon. Learn how this will affect your healthcare organization and what you can do to prevent security problems.  

Healthcare Windows 7

Between the years 2009 and 2018, 189,945,874 healthcare records were either stolen or exposed because of cybersecurity breaches.

If that sounds like a lot, that’s because it is. In fact, “it equates to more than 59% of the population of the United States,” according to HIPAA Journal. Obviously, among healthcare organizations, cybersecurity has become a serious concern.

And it’s about to get worse.

In only a few months, the operating system that nearly all healthcare organizations in the United States utilize — Windows 7 — will lose support from its manufacturer, Microsoft.

Microsoft calls this the “end-of-life” for Windows 7, and it’s going to happen on January 14, 2020. The change will affect all businesses and individuals who are currently operating the Windows 7 OS, but healthcare organizations are especially at risk. That’s because this loss of support also means that the majority of Windows 7 medical devices will be running an outdated and unprotected version of Windows.

Fortunately, healthcare organizations can make changes now to avoid serious operating system and security problems in January of 2020 We’ll discuss how to transition to Windows 10 (the most up-to-date Microsoft operating system) in a moment. For now, let’s discuss what it really means that Windows 7 is losing support from Microsoft.

What Do “End-of-Life” and “Loss of Support” Really Mean?

“End-of-life” is the term Microsoft specifically uses to define the period when they will no longer provide software support for a specific application or piece of software. It’s the same as “loss of support.”

Both terms mean that “Microsoft will no longer provide the following:

  • Technical support for any issues
  • Software updates
  • Security updates or fixes”

Why Would Continuing to Use Windows 7 Be Bad?

Most of the precautions surrounding Windows 7’s end-of-life revolve around cybersecurity.

Though you may not have realized it, for the past ten years, Microsoft has been constantly working on the security, efficiency, and fluidity of its Windows 7 operating system. The Microsoft team constantly provides updates and upgrades for Windows 7 users. Moreover, it monitors and troubleshoots possible cybersecurity issues, catching issues and breaches before they start.

Often, these patches and updates are keeping you and your healthcare organization from being breached by cybercriminals who would love to steal your money or get their hands on your data and hold it for ransom.

When Microsoft ends their support, this dam they’ve been maintaining goes away, and the influx of cybersecurity troubles may very well be at your doorstep as soon as the first day of the end of support.

How Can You Maintain Security Within your Healthcare Organization as the End-of-Life Day for Windows 7 Nears?

If your healthcare organization is still using Windows 7, you’re safe for now. But it’s time to start the transition to Windows 10 — Microsoft’s latest OS. You’ll want to start this shift as soon as possible as the change can instigate a sizable change in pace for your business and a considerable amount of expenses as well.

A good place to start is with your managed services provider. The designated IT specialists within your healthcare establishment will be able to help you transition smoothly and seamlessly from Windows 7 to Windows 10.

Celebrating “Get To Know Your Customer Day” On October 17

October 17 is Get To Know Your Customer Day! Knowing our clients is foundational to everything we do – do you know why?

You may have heard that industry-leading, award-winning, unbeatable IT services come down to one specific thing.

Maybe it’s offering the latest, greatest, fanciest, tech gimmicks (which also tend to be the most expensive). Maybe it’s the lowest possible monthly price (coming, of course, with a long list of addendums, conditions, nickel-and-dime fees, etc.)

But what really matters in IT? People, of course.

Why Is It Important To Know The Customer?

Understand What They Need.

It sounds simple, right? Knowing what the client actually wants out of their IT should be the first step to delivering those services, but often, the opposite is true.

It can be easy to think that whatever services being offered are everything that a client could need. But the truth is that often a given client is really interested in one specific service or solution – an answer to their problem that got them looking for a new IT support provider in the first place.

It seems obvious, but it’s crucially important to good service: once you know what’s needed, you can ensure it’s provided.

Understand How They Communicate.

We’re very careful about the technical jargon that technicians and engineers are prone to use when talking shop. While it’s acceptable around coworkers, that kind of high-level, incomprehensible language won’t be very helpful to the client during a support call.

Also, we make sure not to forget to take into account the medium in which our clients prefer to get in touch. More and more these days, when someone has to get in touch, they do so via text or email instead of over the phone.

Understand Their Goals.

Lastly, for long-term success in service, we need to know where the client is headed – or, at least, where they’re trying to get to.

After all, no business can get stagnant. It’s vital that they continue to grow and improve, and their IT environment is a big part of that.

In our preliminary discussions with the client, we want to be sure to find out what they’re plans are for the next year, five years, and so on, and what role their technology could play in that plan.

Bottom line: the user experience is the single measurement for the quality of any given solution or service, and that includes IT services. That’s why Get To Know Your Customer Day is such special day!