Adobe Flash End of Life: Adobe is Retiring Flash and You Should Too

adobe flash end of life adobe is retiring flash and you should too

Adobe Flash, once one of the most utilized pieces of software on the Internet is being retired by the software giant. Support will stop on December 31, 2020 and like any other piece of retired software, you should remove it from any systems you have that still run it.

Adobe first deprecated the software in 2017, but has announced that it will no longer offer support. This means that soon after the first of the year, the software will begin to show vulnerabilities and anyone still using it will significantly increase their risk of attack.

We are suggesting that any place where you would find Flash Player, such as your Internet browsers, your mobile browsers and mobile OSs, be checked to ensure that Flash isn’t still installed on the device.

Chances are that you haven’t used Flash Player in a while as modern coding has evolved and Flash isn’t as useful as it once was. It once was the predominant multimedia platform found on Internet browsers and other applications, but soon it is about to be nothing more than a liability.

Any legacy software that uses Flash may not function properly any longer, but there isn’t much that can be done as Adobe has set a hard deadline for you to get the software off of your systems.

If you would like to talk to one of our consultants about how to properly remove software and keep your systems free from obvious vulnerabilities, call (877) 771-2384 today.

Law Firm HIPAA Compliance: Why Your Practice May Need It

law firm hipaa compliance why your practice may need it

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) has outlined the information that must be protected by individuals and professionals that have access to it. Although not all law firms typically deal with patient information or EHRs on a daily basis, there are times when they will come into contact with information protected under HIPAA. If you find that your practice frequently reviews EHRs or PHI, then it could be a good idea for your law firm to ensure it is compliant with HIPAA.

What Does HIPAA Compliance Require of Your Law Firm?

HIPAA does have provisions for business associates such as law firms that come into contact with protected information. According to the law, business associates are responsible for information insofar as privacy, security, and breach notification requirements. Although they have a legal obligation and a duty to their clients, most law firms are not prepared to protect the information they obtain. Typically, they lack the cybersecurity capabilities or the knowledge of HIPAA to ensure they remain in compliance. Both of these issues can be swiftly ameliorated by working with the proper managed services providers.

What Elements of Your Law Firm Are Most Important to Protect?

As mentioned, law firms labeled as business associates are required to provide privacy, security, and breach notifications under HIPAA. How can a law firm stay prepared to deliver these outcomes? First, it is critical for law firms to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their system by performing a security audit. A third-party auditor that is HIPAA compliant would serve just as well.

The results of the audit will make suggestions regarding the law firm in several ways. Most often, increased security will be the primary change required for HIPAA compliance. Administrative safeguards, updating network access credentials, limiting the number of people in contact with EHRs, and threat monitoring should all be implemented to ensure only the required people have access to this valuable data from an internal perspective.

For external threats, cybersecurity audits should lead to new readiness plans, increased network security, and various plans to detect and thwart malware. Providing security internally and externally prepares a law firm for dealing with the unique challenges posed by being trusted with data covered by HIPAA.

Obtaining HIPAA Compliance for a Law Firm

Compliance with HIPAA is mandatory, but there are several means to get into compliance with HIPAA. The easiest is to work with a managed services provider like WheelHouse IT. The company can perform HIPAA compliance and security services, bundling your needs into one package. That way, your law firm can have the current status of HIPAA compliance examined by experts and then fix the issues as they’re discovered. This is the simplest, safest course to ensure compliance.

More law firms are discovering that they should be compliant with HIPAA in the present day. While many of them do not possess the tools to handle patient data, it’s possible to quickly and easily update the systems in one’s firms. Managed services can bring a firm into compliance and secure the internal and external elements of the organization, allowing it to operate with confidence. Find out if your firm needs compliance with the HIPAA Compliance for Law Firms Checklist from WheelHouse IT.

HIPAA Compliance for Law Firms Checklist

Benefits of a Disaster Recovery Plan for Fort Lauderdale Businesses

benefits of a disaster recovery plan for fort lauderdale businesses

Every business that operates in Fort Lauderdale has become all too familiar with the various disasters that befall the region. For example, hurricanes are a very common and potent problem in this area. The loss of valuable information compounded with physical destruction results in between 40 and 60% of small businesses never reopening after a hurricane. Hurricanes combined with hardware system failures, cyberattacks, and human error are all reasons to examine the benefits of a disaster recovery plan for Fort Lauderdale businesses.

What is a Disaster Recovery Plan?

In terms of business, a disaster recovery plan is a documented, systematic means of restoring a company’s operating capabilities and/or data after a disaster has damaged the physical or digital aspects of the business.

Disaster Recovery Plans Instill Confidence in Customers

Any company will (rightfully) lose customers if they are unable to protect their data. When securing clients for your business in Fort Lauderdale, a disaster recovery plan could be framed as a measure to reduce their risk by choosing to work with you. The ability to securely back up and maintain customer data off-site or using secure Cloud systems will bolster a client’s confidence in your business. They’ll understand that storms, fires, or cyberattacks will not prevent you from keeping their information safe

Off-Site Backup Facilities Restore Processes Almost Immediately

Hardware losses are a gut-punch to many businesses. Depending on a company’s needs, a disaster recovery plan could simply back up data from hard drives. That allows the business to get their data back as a minimum standard of safety. However, more critical, driven businesses can consider hot and cold sites for their needs. A hot site is a secure, off-site location that has all the hardware and software that a business needs to step into the area and get back to work immediately. A cold site facility is secure and can be stocked with hardware, but it requires further setup before business can resume. These different levels of preparedness provide companies with several options for maintaining their business and getting started after a disaster. At the minimum, this protection will restore lost data, but the full coverage allows workers to get back to business as usual as soon as possible.

Next-Generation Cyber Security Ends Threats Before They Start

Unless a business is specifically positioned to provide unique and valuable information, the chances are good that it won’t be directly targeted by cybercriminals. The best thing to do is make the company the least viable target for hackers and corporate espionage so that it will be passed over for more opportune targets. Furthermore, implementing physical security measures and industry-specific cybersecurity suites can cut down on the potential for loss in your business and maintain backups of valuable data in storage not connected to the original source.

Preparing your business for a loss requires thinking about the unthinkable. Unfortunately, Fort Lauderdale has a seemingly omnipresent threat of damaging hurricanes along with the typical threats to a business. Fortunately, working with local businesses like Bluwater Technologies, a Wheelhouse IT company, to put a disaster recovery plan in place can prevent the worst from happening after a catastrophe. Using this local company that understands the difficulties of operating in this market, any small or medium-sized business can prepare for the worst and customize their plan to suit their specific needs.

Call us at (954) 474-2204 or click here to request a quote.

It’s Time to Consider Remote Hosted Desktops

it time to consider remote hosted desktops

For many organizations, their ability to remain afloat in 2020 and for the foreseeable future, very much depends upon supporting a remote workforce. While there can be many advantages to work remotely or on-the-go, this relatively new form of working especially in such volume, likely makes more than a few employers a little nervous. Not only do they not have direct physical oversight of their employees, they also don’t have as much direct control over the workstations and devices their employees are using either. In this article, we will discuss some of the benefits employers can expect to experience by using remote hosted desktops. In the end, many organizations will likely view them as an effective way to regain a significant amount of organization and control over valuable assets.

What is a Remote Hosted Desktop?

A remote hosted desktop has its infrastructure, consisting of working memory, software, data, and operating system, residing in the cloud. One of the obvious advantages to this is that IT administrators can now have easier access to the configurations of desktop machines throughout a company even though the employees using computer equipment are all working throughout a broad geographical region.

Powerful and Affordable

Employees that use software requiring significant amounts of computing power can benefit from using a remote hosted desktop model. Anyone that uses graphic-intensive apps such as Adobe editing software or AutoCAD will appreciate both the scalability and affordability of hosting these processes in the cloud rather than from an independent machine. Computing consumption can be more economical as businesses only have to pay for a virtualized GPU. Hosting subscriptions can often be less expensive than buying the high-powered workstations required by such power-intensive apps.

Manage Anywhere

Anyone that works in retail knows that managing inventory, along with assets and supply chain components typically means working between both online and mobile environments. By using a remote hosted desktop configuration, employees can manage processes from any device in any location. Retail processes that especially benefit from a remote hosted desktop include deploying software updates and evaluating warehouse inventories across multiple locations.

New Options for Healthcare

Healthcare has always been slow to adopt technological changes, largely due to heavy regulations intended to protect confidential patient data. However, with the advent of COVID-19, the use of telemedicine has skyrocketed throughout the globe. Now physicians and other healthcare experts can deliver helpful medical care to patients through the use of virtualized desktops. With the great demand for and overall success of telemedicine, it’s likely that the delivery of effective healthcare has permanently moved in a new direction.

Call Centers

It’s already fairly well known that call centers were one of the first groups that moved to working from remote locations. Since this type of work typically has a high employee turnover rate and available bandwidth has substantially improved in the past few years, it should come as no surprise that this type of work will also likely permanently shift to remote positions only.

A cloud-based workspace is ideal for these types of positions since employees typically require all the same applications. Multi-factor authentication and data encryption security features which can be built into remote hosted desktops, also provide greater incentive for companies to switch to cloud-based workspaces for these types of positions.

Freelancers

Although companies continue to operate mainly outside the traditional office setting, they still may need to contract with freelancers, especially during the upcoming holiday season. Remote hosted desktops allow companies to hire the temporary employees they need, without being burdened by some of the more traditional steps associated with onboarding new staff.

Cloud-based remote desktops offer employers much in the way of tighter control and security over valuable data. IT administrators can easily limit freelancers by only giving them access to the tools and files they need to perform their duties. Onboarding is also simplified, as companies can bring freelancers on simply by providing them with a username and password.

If you’d like to know more about the benefits of remote hosted desktops, please contact us.

6 Reasons Why You Need Managed Services in Fort Lauderdale

6 reasons why you need managed services in fort lauderdale

The need for managed services has never been more critical as innovation in the business world is continually on the rise. A managed IT services provider based in Fort Lauderdale helps your South Florida business to mitigate natural disasters like hurricanes and keep up with the pace of the advancing technology and enhance your business’ efficiency.

Are you unsure if Managed Services are correct for your business?

Here are six reasons why you might want to reconsider:

1. Minimized Downtime and Increased Productivity

A managed IT service provider helps you to avoid system shutdown and failures, thereby reducing the time spent on making complex IT decisions. When these technology-related frustrations are minimized, your team is able to focus on their work, which in turn guarantees your company a higher level of productivity.

2. Improved Compliance and Security

As technology continues to advance, cyber-criminals are also continuing to invent new malicious attack methods, which puts businesses at a high risk of data breaches. A managed service provider will help protect your business from such attacks and offer quick solutions if one happens. They are also able to supplement additional protocols, procedures, and policies to ensure compliance.

3. High-Level Support on Up-to-the-Minute Technology

One of the benefits of constant system management and monitoring is that you can rely on the most current IT systems at no financial risk or extra costs. Additionally, as a result of their many years of experience, quality managed service providers are able to implement new IT systems within a short time, thereby saving you money and time.

4. Good Return on Business and Cost Effectiveness

Employing the services of a managed IT service provider is a cost-saving investment as it helps to control outgoing expenses, which in turn enhances return on investment.  A managed service provider is able to achieve this by minimizing hardware costs, keeping systems updated, providing expert knowledge, and sustaining high levels of security.

5. Access to a Wide Range of Solutions

Over time, your business needs various solutions such as customer relationship management software (CRM) and accounting software solutions to handle multiple individual needs that keep on rising. With accounting solutions, it becomes easy to monitor taxes, vendors, and financial information. CRM helps to gather greater business visibility through campaigns, notes, and surveys. Managed service providers are able to provide these solutions, which results in a more secure data controlled system that helps your company to manage both customer and business information.

6. Regular Maintenance

A managed IT service provider offers a proactive approach to maintenance, which rids you of the worries about dependability and network speed solutions. They are always on standby to detect any potential vulnerabilities, disturbances, and threats and then fix them as quickly as possible.

The Bottom Line

As technology continues to transform the world of business, there is a need for you to streamline your business’ IT operations. Hiring a qualified managed services provider saves you money, time, frustrations, and, more importantly, enhances your business’ productivity.

Are you worried about how to secure the best managed IT services provider in Fort Lauderdale? Worry no more! Bluwater Technologies, a WheelHouse IT company, has got you covered. Contact us today and see the difference.