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Telesys Voice and Data Blog

Telesys Voice and Data has been serving the Dallas/Fort Worth area since 1994, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Privacy Laws Are Changing Compliance

Privacy Laws Are Changing Compliance

Most companies have some sort of regulation they need to stay compliant to, and 2020 seems to be a landmark year. This year, companies have to deal with end-of-life upgrades, the development of new privacy laws, as well as the existing regulatory landscape. Let’s take a look at why compliance is important and what to expect in the year ahead.

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Checking in on Net Neutrality

Checking in on Net Neutrality

When we write about Net Neutrality, we typically write about how it is designed to keep the telecommunications conglomerates, who make Internet service available to individuals on the Internet, honest when laying out their Internet service sales strategy. One way to put it is that without net neutrality in place, the Big Four (which are currently Comcast, Charter, Verizon, and AT&T) have complete control over the amount of Internet their customers can access.

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Can You Stay Compliant While Using the Cloud?

Can You Stay Compliant While Using the Cloud?

One of the inevitabilities of working with the cloud is that you have to face a tough question; what kind of compliance requirements are there for cloud-based data? If you’re storing data for your business in a cloud-based environment, it becomes your responsibility to know where and how this data is stored--particularly if you’re not the one doing the actual cloud hosting. How do you maintain compliance when you seemingly have so little control over how your computing platform is managed and maintained?


It all starts by asking your cloud provider specific questions about how compliance is handled, as well as what terms are written into the agreement that you have with them. We’ll go over some of the details that you’ll need to address.

The Cloud Can Be Tampered With
Naturally, one of the major concerns that businesses might have about cloud compliance is the idea of how this data is being managed, maintained, stored, and transferred. This also means that it can be changed or intercepted while it is in transit. Therefore, the key concern is that data could be changed without the user’s knowledge. Those who are concerned about the legal ramifications of this should focus on learning who is hosting the data, how it is being maintained, how it is being transported from the hosting site to your infrastructure, and who can see this data. This line is further blurred by the differences between the public and private cloud. In other words, is your data being stored alongside someone else’s data? Are there partitions put into place that limit access based on role and organization? The question of security is of the utmost importance and will be a major point that you’ll need to hit for compliance’s sake.

What Can You Do?
Using the above statements as a springboard, you’ll need to think about how your business plans on securing cloud-based data and ensuring its compliance with any regulations your organization is beholden to. You start by first assessing just how deep into cloud computing your organization actually is. Depending on the importance of certain data, you may decide that a combination of private and public cloud platforms present the ideal solution. For sensitive information, an internal network or private cloud is ideal, while less sensitive or important data is stored elsewhere.

Next, you’ll need to consider who is managing this data, and what kind of agreements you will have to make to guarantee its safety. Is it being managed by an in-house department or a third party? If it’s a third party, for example, you’ll need to determine responsibilities and consequences of failing to adhere to compliance guidelines. It’s also important that you know what types of security and backup solutions are being used to protect your assets.

Since your organizational reputation and integrity is on the line, your best bet is to find a way to design, deploy, and support a private cloud solution onsite for any data that could possibly be subject to regulatory compliance. Otherwise, you may find that any cloud-hosting company or colocation service won’t have your immediate needs top of mind.

Telesys Voice and Data can help your business ensure security of your cloud solutions. To learn more, reach out to us at (800) 588-4430.

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Medical IT: How Is HITECH Doing?

Medical IT: How Is HITECH Doing?

Compliance laws regarding the storage and dispersion of healthcare records were implemented with the intended purpose of urging healthcare providers to better take care of their patients’ personal information, but how effective are they? Unfortunately, there are many providers that have failed to meet the standards for the HIPAA and HITECH compliance laws, and it has brought a hefty price tag along with it.


In 2016, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Department of Health investigated several data breaches that led to a considerable sum being claimed in response to violations of these compliance laws. In what totaled to 12 settlements following the investigations of data breaches caused by failure to comply with these laws, as well as one monetary civil penalty, these claims amounted to approximately $25,505,300 in fines.

Compare this to the more recent data. In 2017, there were only nine HIPAA settlements that produced a total of $19,393,000, as well as a single monetary civil penalty paid, a considerably smaller sum than the previous year. Clearly something is working here, but what is it? Perhaps it’s the fear that being negligent with important data could mean a large sum raining down on the heads of those who fail to adhere to these laws.

What’s even more interesting are the types of violations that led to these penalties. While the majority of these involve a failure to protect protected health information, or PHI, and its digital counterpart electronic protected health information (ePHI), there are a couple of outliers that are interesting to look at. Here are some of them:

  • Insufficient ePHI access control
  • Impermissible disclosure of ePHI
  • Careless handling of PHI
  • Multiple HIPAA violations
  • Delayed breach notifications
  • Lack of security management process
  • Lack of a business associate agreement

The majority of the issues revolving around HIPAA and HITECH compliance come from an inability to secure mobile devices, failure to implement proper security processes, and delaying breach notifications for far too long.

As for HITECH specifically, a recent lawsuit was filed in federal court against 60 hospitals over alleged failure to adhere to the HITECH Act. Specifically, these hospitals failed to adequately provide records and documentation for 50% of their patients within three business days of the request. This is one of the specific requirements for securing funding through the HITECH Act, so you can understand that this was quite a big red flag for government.

Consequently, these 60 hospitals from the state of Indiana now face charges totaling over $1 billion for failure to provide records as required, despite receiving the incentive payments totaling around $324 million. Additionally, these hospitals face claims that they violated the Anti-Kickback Statute and the False Claims Act for claiming that they were HITECH-compliant, when in reality they failed to meet the requirements of the regulation.

Not all practices fail to adhere to HIPAA and HITECH, though. Is your practice one of them? Answer with confidence today by reaching out to Telesys Voice and Data at (800) 588-4430.

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Where There’s Data Loss, There’s Trouble

Where There’s Data Loss, There’s Trouble

Data loss can have lasting effects upon your business, usually measured in lost productivity and capital. In other words, data loss is often measured by the cost required to retrieve, restore, and/or repair its effects. Of course, this is only the beginning of how data loss can impact your operations.

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