Blog

July 22nd, 2016

2016July22_Office_AAccording to Salesforce, an average sales rep spends more than 70 percent of their time each week in their email inbox. Despite this fact, email and customer relationship management (CRM) software has remained separate, forcing sales reps to toggle between them. Fortunately, we have some good news for small and medium-sized businesses: Salesforce will finally be integrated into Microsoft Outlook.

Salesforce and Microsoft have been working together for more than two years, and it has definitely been a win-win situation for everyone. In the latest development between these two tech giants, they've released a brand new product that promises to make the lives of sales representatives much easier. Lightning for Outlook, a flashy new add-on allows your sales team to access customer relationship management (CRM) software right from their Microsoft Outlook inbox without switching back and forth between the two applications.

The add-on accomplishes new levels of integration with Lightning Components, which allows for dragging and dropping of fields and elements from Salesforce directly into Outlook. For example, sales reps will be able to update a price quote with Salesforce’s SteelBrick -- a Quote-to-Cash software -- from within Outlook. This has been termed 'snapping'. Just 'snap' the code you want to migrate into the appropriate Outlook account.

One of the most exciting new features, called Lightning Sync, enables users to automatically sync contacts and calendars across Salesforce and Outlook. "When you update a contact in Outlook, it's reflected in Salesforce and on your mobile device," said Greg Gsell, Salesforce's director of Sales Cloud. "All devices and teams are immediately kept up to date."

Both Lightning for Outlook and Lightning Sync are available now; the former is free for all Salesforce Cloud users, and the latter is free for users of Salesforce Cloud Lightning Enterprise Edition or higher. Lightning Components Framework -- a UI framework for developing dynamic web apps, which gets integrated into Outlook, will be released later this year with pricing to be announced at a later date.

However, this doesn’t mean Lightning for Outlook will solve everything. This plugin simply makes it easier for the two programs to work together. Still, there is a maze of security, database and account management issues to navigate through to make this new feature work properly. At Cavu, our experts are well-versed in email and CRM systems, so why not give us a call today and work smarter, not harder.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Office
July 21st, 2016

2016July21_Virtualization_AAny business owner who has taken the time to truly understand how virtualization works knows that the final product is invaluable. But since nothing worth doing is ever easy, there are a lot of things that might scare SMBs away from making the leap. Amazon Web Services is working tirelessly to make that leap a lot easier and less frightening with their Data Migration Service. Let’s take a look at the latest development.

As a quick review, virtualization is best imagined by visualizing your server as a house. When a user draws computing power from your server, it’s a lot like opening the front door and just telling anyone to come in and grab whatever they need. The house gets crowded and messy quickly. Virtualization allows you to create doorways into partitioned rooms, with specifications and permissions unique to the user or application that needs them.

Much like the house in our analogy, the hardware and upkeep of servers can become quite expensive. By taking virtualization one step further, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has created the equivalent of a gigantic apartment building, online. When renting these internet-based apartments, your SMB is presented with virtualized versions of your server and desktops. You realize huge cost savings by eliminating upfront capital expenditures on hardware, and the rooms and their contents can be modified and adapted with little more than a simple request to AWS.

So you’re ready to migrate your server and clients to a virtualized environment, but after hiring experts you’re informed they will need days -- possibly weeks -- of server downtime to move your data from on-site storage to AWS. This service interruption has long been a massive speed bump in cloud migration projects. With Amazon’s Data Migration Service (DMS), that server downtime can be reduced to as little as 10-15 minutes.

This significantly reduced downtime is achieved by keeping your database live during the migration process. The final product can be stored in one of AWS’s several regional datacenters, or even copied back to your on-site server for concerns about redundancy and continuity.

Another speed bump along the road to your new virtualized home is moving from one database schema to another. Imagine the front door of your original, one-bedroom house is shaped like a triangle. But your destination, the AWS home, has a front door in the shape of a circle -- how will you get your data into its new home? Amazon’s DMS has added a new tool to take care of all of that for you. This means it doesn’t matter if you have an Oracle or MySQL on-site server; Amazon can almost effortlessly convert it to a new schema.

With such a valuable tool, AWS must be charging a fortune to utilize it, right? Wrong. Amazon promises DMS migrations will cost as little as three dollars per terabyte. Even if your business is hosting above average amounts of data on-site, that’s still a price tag any cash-strapped SMB can afford.

Just because there’s a new tool for the migration, doesn’t mean you should attempt buying a new home for your server and driving it across town alone. Think of us as your virtualization real estate agent and movers, all wrapped into one. For an inexpensive, swift migration to a virtualized environment, we’ve got just the place for you. Contact us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

July 20th, 2016

2016July20_BusinessContinuity_AQuick, what’s the most important thing about your business’s precious data? Besides knowing how to back it up properly and protect it from catastrophic loss, how about understanding all the lingo used to describe it? The term “big data” - in reference to large, complex data sets - is a well-known buzzword these days, but a slew of new “data” terms are in style now, too.

Data is the lifeblood of the information age. It gets observed, collected, organized, and analyzed, and it allows businesses to compete for profit and prosperity. And it takes many forms, each one unique and often vividly-named by the addition of a simple descriptive word.

As such, we thought a short glossary was in order to help keep you current on a handful of new data buzzwords and how they might impact your business.

Small Data

If “big data” is about powerful machines, huge databases, and sophisticated analytics, its little brother “small data” is about people. Small data takes a scaled-down approach to data mining that relies on things like social media to acquire important information. Archiving it is also simpler since a complex central data warehouse isn’t necessary.

Slow Data

The notion of “slow data” may seem a bit counterintuitive since processing ones and zeroes means things are happening fast. Some information, however, is actually acquired more slowly. Take, for example, the polar ice caps, where things literally move at a glacial pace. Since this kind of data doesn’t require frequent analysis it is suitable for back-up in its native format in a secure data lake.

Fast Data

We’re guessing you knew this buzzword was coming next, and it’s probably exactly what you thought it would be. “Fast data” refers to data events that happen fast - as in thousands of times per second - such as financial tickers or electrical sensors. Being able to act on it without delay is critical, so storing it immediately in a stable, easy to access location is a must.

Dark Data

Put simply, “dark data” is nothing more than day-to-day operational data that’s not getting used. It often refers to unanalyzed information in the form of customer call records, competitors’ price fluctuations, or website visitor trends. It can also include data that’s no longer accessible, such as when a storage device becomes obsolete. Your business can bring some of this redundant, out-of-date, or hidden data into the light with software designed to tidy things up.

Dirty Data

And speaking of tidying, here we finally have “dirty data.” While not quite as provocative as, say, dirty dancing or a dirty martini, it does have a tendency to arouse anxiety. But it’s actually not harmful to your data warehouse; it merely refers to a data set prior to its being “cleaned,” such as a leads list that contains duplicates, spelling mistakes, or formatting errors. The key is ensuring it gets spruced up before moving it into production.

If this index of buzzwords has left you wondering about the ways that different types of information affect your specific business, we’ve got answers. Setting up and managing your databases, super-secure backup strategies, and a thorough understanding of information technology are what we provide, so call or message us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic business
July 19th, 2016

2016July19_AndroidPhone_AAlthough a paperless office may seem ideal, there is something indispensable about paper copies that a computer or tablet screen cannot replace. The same goes for photos -- what could be better than having your favorite pictures printed and framed on the wall for all to see? With the tips in this article you’ll be able to print out what you need, while keeping the rest as electronic files for convenience’s sake.

Google Cloud Print

The wonder that is Google Cloud Print allows you to send documents and files from your device to your printer without you being on the same network. To utilize this, make your printer available to Google Cloud Printing by activating it in the Chrome browser settings of the computer it’s attached to. Then, just by connecting your printer and mobile to the same Google account, you can print any document or photo by tapping the share button on your phone or tablet, and choosing Google Cloud Print.

Prynt

If your SMB has any photography needs, this option might be the way to go. Prynt comes in the form of an instant photo printer that connects to your Android device’s charging port. Simply place your smartphone in the Prynt case, snap a picture, order Print, and that’s it. If you feel the need to spruce up your prints, the printer’s native app includes frames, filters, stickers and the addition of text before printing.

Manufacturer apps

Most popular printer manufacturers have their own apps that make printing from an Android device possible. HP has HP ePrint, Samsung comes with its Samsung Mobile Print, and Epson has Epson iPrint. Make sure to check the Google Play store to see if your printer has an app companion before trying any of the third-party options listed below.

Third party apps

Although it’s not our favorite option, there are third party apps that make it possible to send items from your Android device to your printer. Some apps -- like PrinterShare and PrintHand Mobile Print -- restrict mobile printing to Bluetooth or local wifi networks. Others -- like Cloud Print Plus -- untether local requirements so you can print from anywhere. However, it’s always better to try apps owned by hardware manufacturers and Google first. These third party apps should be considered a last resort when other options aren’t available.

Aside from printing wirelessly, Android devices can do just about anything a desktop computer can. If you’re looking for more tips and in-depth guidance on how Android can improve productivity at your business, get in touch with one of our Android experts today. We’re here to help you achieve your mobile technology business goals.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic android
July 18th, 2016

2016July18_MicrosoftWindowsNewsAndTips_BWindows 10 stands tall as Microsoft’s best operating system release to date, hands down. But having undergone serious revamping, the OS is ready to rock and scroll. Boasting a myriad of new features, the updated Windows 10 is both efficient and effortless -- fully capable of redefining your computing experience for good. Become a Windows 10 power user in no time with these seven tips:

Master virtual desktops

Virtual desktops allow for better utilization of screen space. You can span your applications and windows across multiple “virtual” desktops. Create one by clicking on the “Task View” icon (located at the right of the Cortana bar) on the taskbar, then click “+ New Desktop” in the lower right corner and add as many desktops as you wish. To move an application to a new desktop, merely drag it into the virtual desktop on the bottom.

Next-level screenshotting

The original screenshotting methods on Windows include Windows + Prt Scn, which captures the screen and saves it into the Screenshots folder; and Alt + Prt Scn, which captures the screen and copies it to your clipboard.

Introducing the new built-in Snipping Tool. On top of capturing a full screen screenshot, other capturing options range from a free-form rectangle to a specific aspect ratio or even an entire window as well. You can also set the capture to delay a screenshot by a set interval -- this comes in handy when you want to screenshot a YouTube video minus the playback controls.

Shake and minimize

For users who aren’t aware of this trick, you can grab a window by its bar and literally shake your mouse. This causes all the other windows to automatically minimize.

Professional Windows snapping

Snapping windows to certain parts of the screen is ideal for multitasking. You can now organize and monitor different applications more seamlessly. Make the most of your screen space with the following tips:

Drag a window to the right or left to split it in half. Drag a window to a corner to reduce it to a fourth of its size. Drag a window to the top to maximize its size.

Record your screen with the Xbox app

After launching the Xbox app, go to the app you wish to record and press Windows + G. You’ll be prompted with a window that asks: “Do you want to open the Game bar?” Click on the “Yes, this is a game” box and let the recording begin!

Talk to Cortana like a person

Aside from typing your requests, you can also use natural language to ask Cortana to locate your vacation photos, or provide directions to your friend’s house. No date needed, just specific words and she’s all set. Cortana is also synced with your calendar, so if you’re ever unsure when your meetings are, Cortana will gladly double-check.

Automatic Battery Saver mode

When activating battery saver in Windows 10, you can limit your portable devices’ background activity and push notifications to prolong battery life. Battery saver also kicks in automatically once your battery life is lower than 20%. To customize your own power threshold as well as which applications you allow to run in the background, go to Settings > System > Battery saver -- voilà!

Make the most of Windows 10 with these tips and upgrade your user status from regular to power. Regardless of what you're using it for -- arranging your meetings or planning your vacation -- make each computing experience a memorable one. Want to hear more of the latest Windows 10 news and updates? Contact us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Windows
July 15th, 2016

2016July15_HealthcareArticles_AThe mere mention of the word “technology” elicits a certain expectation. Namely, that we’re dealing with something that’s modern, and new, and has the potential to change our lives. The word “disruptive” is also indicative of change, so a term like “disruptive technology” may seem redundant. But in healthcare it makes perfect sense as the status quo is constantly under threat.

Technology companies are transforming the healthcare industry perhaps more remarkably than any other industry. Everything from miniaturized pacemakers and mobile stroke units to wearable wellness apps and bed sore-preventing electronic underwear are leading the way to a seemingly sci-fi future in medicine.

And we’re on the cusp of several other game-changing innovations that clearly qualify as “disruptive technology.” They’re things that are likely to derail the healthcare industry’s apple cart, as it were, by introducing completely new ways of diagnosing patients, conducting clinical trials, treating illnesses, and much more.

For medical industry stakeholders, the first step toward embracing these changes is awareness.

The “internet of things”

The “internet of things” literally means that “things” will be connected to the internet. People, cars, buildings, household objects, etc. will all be fitted with sensors and network connectivity that will allow them to send and receive data over the internet.

The implication for healthcare providers is all about data capture and analysis, as this kind of technology will allow physicians to have access to patients’ vital signs on-demand: blood pressure, body temperature, glucose levels, and respiratory rate will be read, analyzed, and recorded, all while patients remain in the comfort of their home. How would you adapt to this kind of patient monitoring scheme if it were to go mainstream?

Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI)

Computers are programmed to do everything from making coffee to flying planes, and they’re even programmed to learn, as chess master Gary Kasparov knows all too well from having faced Deep Blue in their famous match.

But can corralling “big data” - which in this case amounts to roughly a trillion gigabytes of patients’ health information culled from EHRs, laboratory tests, and the like - lead to machines actually being able to diagnose and treat patients better than highly-trained human doctors?

Many in the industry are betting that it can, and AI start-ups in healthcare have raised more than $870M since 2011. Are there opportunities here for your business?

A virtual healthcare reality

By simply donning a special hi-tech virtual reality headset, a user can be “tricked” into thinking they’re in an environment that they’re not. And the technology is already being used to treat autism and PTSD, as well as conduct training in emergency response and patient diagnosis.

But it’s the future possibilities that defy belief: imagine an American doctor being “transported” via VR to a rural clinic in Afghanistan to interact with patients, participate in evaluating them, and even perform their surgeries.

Now try to imagine a patient “virtually” visiting your hospital to meet with your “machine” doctor, who will then read vital signs from nano devices inside the virtual patient’s body, over the internet, in order to schedule their robotic artificial retina surgery?

This sort of scenario isn’t actually as far-fetched as it may sound, and it may not even be that far off, either. So now might not be a bad time to evaluate how these futuristic-sounding advances - these disruptive technologies - might impact your future.

A quick call to a technical expert is one way to get answers… So contact us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Healthcare
July 14th, 2016

2016July14_Security_ADon't be put off by the tech jargon of security experts you find in forums and self-help books. A managed service provider is what you need to break down complex security ideas into easy-to-understand language. However, they generally focus on installing and managing protection software that's often far too complicated to operate without their help. And when that’s the case, what can you do to improve the safety of your business and its data? Keep reading for 5 effective, down-to-earth cybersecurity measures that you not only need to know, but need to put into action

1. Two-Factor Authentication

Did an attacker get your password? With two-factor authentication they’ll still need your mobile device to do any damage. Here’s how it works: every time you log into a service that requires a password, the service will send a code to your mobile device for another layer of authentication. Nowadays, most internet services have this option: Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Skype, Slack, etc. Check a full list here to see if you could be using two-factor authentication on any of your online accounts.

2. Password Manager

Say goodbye to the bygone era of memorizing a long list of different passwords for the various websites and services you use. Password manager software may have been around for a long time, but it’s still a viable solution for improving your login integrity. After installing it, all you need to do is create one secure master password and let the software do the rest. It will store and encrypt all of your passwords in one place for future reference and help generate random, more secure passwords for any new logins.

3. Keep All Software Up to Date

Update all of your software and your operating system as often as possible -- it’s that simple. New versions come with better protection and fix any newly discovered loopholes. If you are too busy or can’t find the time to do it, check for an automatic update option. Any excuse for postponing updates will feel a lot less valid when it means a security breach or system crash.

4. Disable Flash Player

Adobe Flash Player may be what allows you to play Candy Crush during your work breaks, but it has boasted such a poor security record that most experts recommend that users block the plugin entirely. Most internet browsers have the option to block Flash by default, while allowing you to enable blocked content you deem acceptable by simply right-clicking and selecting Run this Plugin.

5. HTTPS Everywhere

When dealing with technology, long acronyms tend to scare off novice users before they even make it to step two. But don’t panic, there’s only one step to this trick. ‘HTTPS Everywhere’ is a browser extension that forces your browser to automatically navigate to sites using a secured encryption, if the site allows it. The thing is, a significant percentage of websites offer HTTPS connections but don’t present them as the default. When that’s the case, ‘HTTPS Everywhere’ gives your browser a gentle nudge in the right direction.

While in-depth security measures need to be implemented and managed by experts, little steps like the ones listed here can be just as important. Check back often for more helpful cybersecurity tips, but if you have more urgent security needs for yourself and your business, our experts are ready and waiting to offer a helping hand -- why not reach out to us today?

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Security
July 13th, 2016

2016July13_iPhone_ANon-techie Apple iPhone lovers relish in the magic hour ensuing a beta’s release. Those of us in the industry break down every minute detail and flock to our digital soapboxes to proclaim what we usually deem apocalyptic news. The sun is setting on Apple’s iOS 10 magic hour, and we’re here to pass judgement for you in the form of our favorite new features coming soon to your phone.

New lock screen

Changes to any mobile operating system (OS) almost always include updates to the lockscreen. However, this is no ordinary update. For the first time since the iPhone’s release in 2007, there’s no ‘Slide to Unlock’ feature. Instead, the screen provides in-depth, 3D touch-activated notifications displaying more detail than before without having to unlock your phone. The iPhone will automatically display the lock screen any time you pick it up, and you can unlock it by pressing the ‘Home’ button.

New widgets

Another upgrade visible on the lockscreen and homescreen is the long-awaited addition of ‘widgets.’ These are basically compartmentalized apps that run on a portion of your screen without having to open the app entirely. With iOS still in beta, the list of available widgets is already quite long, but iTunes controls, weather and calendar are a few of the standout native widgets. Don’t worry though, Apple is allowing third party widgets from the likes of ESPN, Google Maps and Amazon. They can be accessed by swiping from left to right on your lock screen or page one of your home screen.

3D touch on control center shortcuts

The iPhone 6s has been out long enough that most people have had a chance to interact with its 3D Touch feature, which performs different actions based on how much force you apply when tapping the screen. When combining 3D Touch functionality with the ‘Control Center’ dock that appears with a flick of the finger from the bottom of the screen upwards, each function displays ‘Favorite’ actions. For example, if you use a slightly more forceful touch on the Camera shortcut, you’re presented with the options to jump straight to Traditional, Slow Motion, Video or Selfie recording.

New/rich notifications

We see a lot more of 3D Touch throughout iOS 10, and another place it’s quite evident is notifications. Whether it’s on the lock screen or the notification center, a strong 3D Touch will open a small window that allows you to interact with that app without opening it completely. This is especially helpful for replying to messages and emails. In addition to this-- something that may seem small to some, but huge to others, is the ability to hide all your notifications with just two taps. Simply press hard on the ‘X’ button in the upper right, and then click ‘Clear All Notifications.’

Handwritten messages

The iPhone’s native Messages app got a thorough overhaul, but we’ll leave the discovery of emojis, invisible ink and ‘fireworks’ for another time. Those don’t have much place in the business world, but handwritten messages certainly do. Give your professional messages a more personal, attentive touch by writing responses with your fingers with the app’s Digital Touch option.

‘Delete’ stock apps

Unfortunately, you can’t get back valuable storage space by deleting unnecessary native apps. But you can finally remove them from your home screen. Don’t have an iWatch and don’t see why you need to have the app on your phone, albeit tucked away in a folder on page three? Press and hold on the app, tap the shaking X, and tap ‘Remove.’ All gone. iOS 10 is one of the most significant updates the iPhone has ever received. It’s still another month away from widespread release, but if you’d like to install the beta now, or you just want to learn more about how to automatically convert text to emojis, we’re your guys. Open up your boring, old Messages, and drop us a line. We’ll have you sending handwritten messages in no time.
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic apple
July 12th, 2016

2016July12_Hardware_AHave you ever witnessed your coworkers crazily straddle two computer monitors like madmen? Many find that working multiple monitors in this way is either intimidating or just plain weird. So it’s no surprise that such a set-up is unpopular. But even if you look like you’re preparing to launch rockets into outer space, that shouldn’t dissuade you from working with dual monitors altogether. Here are six reasons why working with two is better than one:

Enhanced productivity

Published studies conclude that by working with dual monitors, overall productivity increases by 20-50%. Computer programmers, for example, can use one screen for source coding and the other for programming; by using dual monitors, they no longer need to toggle back and forth between tabs. This reduces error and frees up time to complete more projects.

Better multitasking

Efficient multitasking requires adequate screen space to keep multiple applications simultaneously visible -- a view that single monitors alone simply cannot accommodate. Workers who require computers, like customer service reps and web designers, would no longer waste time switching between tabs and resizing windows to fit the limited space; they could now focus on completing their tasks accurately and efficiently. .

Easier cutting and pasting

This reason resonates with jobs that call for creating newsletters or PowerPoint presentations. Dual monitors would eliminate the need for alternating between tabs and scrolling up and down as you work. Also, the enhanced visibility reduces chances of making mistakes and thus losing more time fixing them.

Image and video editing

With dual monitors, the days of stacking numerous editing tools on top of the image or video you're working on are long gone. Instead of your screen looking like a game of Mahjong, you can put the editing tools on one screen and leave the image on the other. With better visibility, you’re less likely to commit errors and more likely to be finessed, and you’re not sacrificing valuable working time in the process.

Product comparison

You want to buy a camera, and you have two models in mind. It’s time to make a decision, so you have to compare their specs. If you had only one monitor, you’d need to go back and forth from one tab to another. But if you had two monitors, you could view the models side-by-side to help you clearly see their differences and make an informed purchase.

New gaming experience

Working hard means you get to play hard -- what’s better than a gaming session? The answer is a relaxing gaming session on dual monitors! With more screen space, you can see enemies from afar, anticipate their actions, plan your retaliation, and attack!

Dual monitors benefits almost every industry because of the enhanced visibility, larger screen space, and how you can briefly nap behind them without getting caught Using dual monitors can enhance even your leisure time activities as well.

2016July12_Hardware_ABroaden your horizons by getting in touch with us. We’ll answer any questions you have.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Hardware
July 12th, 2016

But you already knew that.

You may be a private practice clinician thinking to yourself that you’ve already seen and heard numerous times that healthcare information is up to 50 times more valuable to criminals. You also probably have learned that what we used to believe about getting hacked as being a rare occurrence involving fringe elements, no longer applies. In fact, with the June 20 memo from Secretary Burwell, it’s now official: the healthcare industry has formally recognized cyber crime for what it is – a sophisticated and professionally run criminal enterprise – that is growing rapidly, with no apparent control over it. We view the memo from Secretary Burwell as timely and prudent. But frankly, it has been a good long time since “we’re too small/we’re not on anyone’s radar/nobody knows about us” justifications have sufficed. So, what are you supposed to do now?

“we’re too small/we’re not on anyone’s radar/nobody knows about us” justifications no longer suffice

Your feeling of cognitive dissonance from being aware of, but yet not taking action on this knowledge, may have already motivated you to implement information security solutions on your own – but maybe you quickly got bogged down by technical jargon and were sticker-shocked by costly solutions that seemed overly complex for your practice. That, combined with the enduring pressures of growing your business, controlling costs and keeping up with training and staffing demanding your attention – you eventually lost momentum, and went back to what you were good at – patient care and running your business. Does this sound familiar?

You are not alone.

We of course applaud the memo from Secretary Burwell, especially those of us who work side-by-side with private practice clinicians who are diligently striving to protect the confidentiality and security of their patients protected health information. If you would gladly do what was required, if you just knew what to do – you are not alone. Every day, we are inspired by clinicians who are diligently implementing cost-effective, best-of-breed solutions and best practice policies and procedures that successfully address their ransomware risks. Here is what we are seeing clinicians do that gets them results.

Work with a partner.

If you already had the operational budget to staff your own IT, you would have done it by now. And with the shortage in information security skill sets and advanced healthcare compliance experience – now would not be the best time to start. Instead, find an experienced partner to help you. Generally, the more experienced and skilled partners will engage with you in clear terms, and discuss both the business and technical aspects of your practice. Someone local who can meet with you onsite in your clinic can be a good option for you. Talk to three candidates – and if you walk away from all of those initial conversations with your head swimming in tech talk, just imagine trying to get to the bottom a thorny issue that may come up…and keep looking until you find a partner that can demonstrate clear thinking and direct, straightforward communication of how they will help you identify, prioritize and address your ransomware vulnerabilities.

Process. Then solutions.

Be open and curious as per your usual in your selection process – but do take note if early discussions tilt heavily toward solutions. But you may ask – if the prospective partner is very strong technically and is eager to cover the many details of their solutions, why should you be concerned? The reason isn’t because solutions aren’t needed – it’s because of the possibility that the prospective partner, while strong in technology, may still be on the learning curve regarding process. As you have already realized, ransomware is a well-known issue now, so beware of product and service vendors eager to sell their solutions, who may be focusing a bit more on their sales volume than on tailoring their approach based on the details that make your practice unique.

the hard earned secret to delivering enduring value is well thought-out process

Experienced professionals who have a track record of success tend to know that the hard earned secret to delivering enduring value is well thought-out process for implementation, maintenance and continuous improvement. Solutions come and go. Meanwhile, process lives on, and ushers in right-sized, prioritized solutions at the appropriate time.

Security Risk Assessment and Management Plan. Update annually.

As all clinicians know, the federal law governing covered entities (hint: it’s five capital letters, rhymes with the last name of host of ABC’s Live with Kelly), and mandates that they complete a Security Risk Assessment on a periodic basis – which experts in industry often recognize as annually. As it turns out, it’s not just a good idea for compliance – it is an excellent starting point for ransomware cyber-risk planning as well. If you have been performing your Security Risk Assessment in-house just to check-the-box, start working with a partner. In fact, you may want to ask your prospective partner for their viewpoint on the importance of and approach to the Security Risk Assessment. If given a fair chance (or maybe even more than one), but the prospective vendor partner is unable to describe the significance of the Security Risk Assessment and resulting Management Plan in terms of right-sizing and prioritizing solution options – you may want to let them know that you thank them for coming in, but you regret that you need to leave to attend to an urgent business issue (spending your time wisely, that is).

Plan the Work. Work the Plan.

Although at times we experience a love/hate relationship with Governance and Risk professionals because it can feel like they are always poking holes in our work – let us remember that bottom line, they are trusted, wise and have excellent insights. We recommend that you take their advice. Internal Audit, External Audit, Audit Committee, Examiners at the State and Federal Levels – they all seem to agree: As counter-intuitive as it may seem, a record of steady progress on implementing improvements from a list that is prioritized based on a combined analysis of likelihood of threats and their impact is not viewed as a commission of guilt or incompetence, but rather quite the opposite: as the hallmark of a serious organization that has developed a strong posture to address their ransomware cybersecurity risks.

Steady and sustained focus will see you through.

You may see over the coming weeks and months, numerous discussions of ransomware and all the who, what, where and whys. Read it all. As much as you can stand, anyway. Then once you have developed a base of knowledge:

  1. Start working with a partner. Take some time. Find a good one.
  2. Update your Security Risk Assessment. Update your Management plan. Discipline yourself to complete this step first. Plan the work – your future self will thank you later.
  3. Work the plan. Deliver the top prioritized item. Then go back to the plan for the next one. Resist the temptation to over-commit. Remain focused and commit to steady progress.

By getting help from a partner, combined with your steady focus – you may surprise yourself with how satisfied you feel after implementing significant improvements to your ransomware risk level at an affordable cost…not to mention the increased confidence from having your very own coherent and controlled ransomware risk program, tailored just for your practice.

Todd Takada
Cavu Networks