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Healthcare

If you are a healthcare provider or supplier that engages with Medicare and Medicaid programs, it’s urgent that you understand and comply with new Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) healthcare emergency preparedness regulations (“EP Regulations”) to protect your access to Medicare and Medicaid programs. Under the new rules issued by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services providers must comply by November 15, 2017. That is this calendar year folks.  Are you ready?

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Healthcare

Unlike healthcare providers, family members are not subject to the privacy and security mandates in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). However, there is a huge market for medical information, drug prescriptions, social security numbers and credit card numbers on the dark web. Cybercriminals are mastering how to invade devices to steal this exact type of information we bandy about in our family beehives during a health crisis.

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Consumer

In Chicago, the leaves have all fallen, the air is getting colder and glittery Holiday displays have begun to surround us. Fortunately, it is also the time of year when we can slow down and sit with our loved ones to give thanks for all that has brought us good fortune this year.

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Secure Messaging

As the workforce becomes increasingly mobile and employees rely on texting for quick, easy communication, organizations across industries have been driven to create policies that guide how the information created by mobile text messaging is managed. These frameworks help to effectively support recordkeeping, answer compliance needs and ensure data availability for eDiscovery. Information governance is one such accepted discipline, ensuring a reasonable level of security for records and information that require protection.

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Secure Messaging

Secure communications are essential to the HR recruiting process. From initial correspondence with potential new hires to salary negotiations, HR recruiters need the ability to communicate internally and externally while keeping confidential information secure. But, keeping this information private in today’s technology landscape can be a challenge for both recruiters and job candidates.

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Security

A few weeks ago we saw yet another email scandal. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails were hacked and over 19,000 emails were made public during the convention. The revelations lead to the resignation of the chair of the DNC and dominated the discourse during the opening night of the convention. It is amazing that in today’s world, after the revelations of the Sony emails, anyone would still write emails of this sort. Whatever happened to the old saying, “if you don’t want it on the 5 o’clock news, don’t put it in an email!” It seems like there is a general feeling of “it won’t happen to me” that permeates many organizations. So what is one to do?

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Legal

Today’s mobile lawyers travel constantly, all over the country and world. Many travel to areas known to be less secure and even aggressive when it comes to cyber surveillance. Rightfully so, lawyers and their clients worry about the security of devices and communication methods while traveling abroad, however still require a high standard of responsiveness.

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Security

Author–Kristi Perdue Hinkle

Emergency Management Cycle

On the heels of the largest data breach on record, it is easy to say that data breaches have become big, and all too common, news. We see it flash across the screen daily: legal firm—leak, hospital—ransomware, government agency—hacked. Cyber security is no longer something just for financial organizations to worry about—it’s become a necessity for any organization that handles private, valuable and sensitive information to prepare for – including those in higher education.

In the last few years, multiple universities have been the victim of data breaches—University of California Berkeley, University of Virginia, University of Maryland, to name a few. In 2014 alone, 30 educational institutions experienced data breaches, with five of those schools experiencing larger data breaches than the Sony hack. Universities face a unique set of challenges when it comes to a data breach. As Paul Rivers, UC Berkeley’s CISO noted, similar to a healthcare organization, schools cannot close if a major breach occurs and network security on campus cannot be treated like a bank or technology company. Schools by nature are an open community, with a network shared by students, staff and even visitors—so closing vulnerabilities can be especially difficult.

Unfortunately, a data breach or IT outage is not the only type of emergency that Universities must prepare for. In the wake of acts of terror, natural disasters and other reported campus safety concerns over the last decade, Universities have a heightened call to action to protect campus staff and students. The ability to securely, efficiently, and, when appropriate, confidentially correspond about emergencies is paramount to successful response and recovery.

So how can universities ensure that sensitive information and communications remain secure during an out-of-course event?

One way is the use of encrypted, secure, ephemeral messaging. Secure messaging enables executives, board members and staff (as well as students for that matter) to communicate in a way that ensures that any sensitive information is protected. This is because at the core the sender is in complete control of anything he or she sends out. Messages cannot be forwarded, shared, saved, printed or screenshotted by the recipient, eliminating the risk of reputational damage or diminished trust. As an example, if a communication needs to be kept to a specific area of the campus to avoid panic during an emergency response – it can be; if a communication needs to be kept confidential to avoid media coverage during an emergency response – it can be; and if a hacker needs to be kept out of discussions concerning an emergency response to a breach – that too can be done.

For additional security, ephemerality means that any messages received and sent are automatically removed from the sender or the receiver’s devices per a pre-defined time period for expiration, removing the risk caused by BYOD device loss and theft. With secure messaging Apps that also support compliance, such as Vaporstream, a copy of the message can be archived in a single repository of record and stored behind a firewall for safe keeping to meet business and regulatory requirements.

In case of an emergency, secure messaging keeps sensitive communications ongoing. This is especially critical for universities, given that schools cannot close when an incident occurs. Secure messaging provides a means to continue crucial conversations and to discuss mitigation, emergency response and recovery plans. In case hackers or even terrorists may have access to certain university information or communications, employees can rest assured that whatever conversations they are conducting via secure messaging are uncompromised.

In short, encrypted, secure, ephemeral messaging protects high level communications for universities at every step of the way—during day-to-day business communications for such things as discussing HR and IP as well as during out-of-course events where emergency response plans need to go into action. If you would like to learn more about secure messaging and Vaporstream’s solution you can download our white paper or contact us.

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Cyber Security

Author–Galina Datskovsky Ph.D., CRM, FAI

2016As I look back on the year, I can’t help but marvel on the incredible ups and downs that it has brought with it.  Although there are many to speak of, both personally and professionally for most of us, cyber security has been front and center throughout 2015 and has become an increasingly prominent topic among companies, families and individuals.

Although an unfortunate reality in the world we now live in, I see the increased interest in cyber security and information security as something extremely positive for our country and all businesses alike. As with many forms of safety, cyber security has developed and grown as a result of incredible technological progress. We have seen firsthand how technology has and continues to improve lives—from smart household gadgets, to healthcare IT, to innovative ways that companies and organizations can now communicate. With great innovation, we also must consider changed behaviors and the impact on how we as human beings interact with each other For me, the increased focus on cyber security in 2015 has been indicative of the extent to which technology has progressed in the last year, how much progress is still yet to come .

winterphoneAt Vaporstream®, we continue to find ways to provide more secure environments to do business, protect sensitive information and communicate. I have been thrilled to see the Vaporstream team grow.  I am proud of their talent and look forward to the opportunities ahead.

As we look towards 2016, I anticipate exciting new developments in the world of cyber security, information security, secure mobility and information governance. I wish you the best for 2016.  Have an incredible holiday season with friends, family and colleagues. Have a healthy, happy, and peaceful new year!

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