7 IT Policies And Procedures That Companies Under HIPAA Regulations Must Have

HIPAA and HITECH have been around for quite some time. Even so, many companies covered by these laws are way behind the times when it comes to actual implementation. And when you really think about it, even companies not covered by these laws should have the requisite policies and procedures in place.

  1. Access Control Policy. How are users granted access to programs, client data and equipment? Also includes how administrators are notified to disable accounts when needed.
  2. Workstation Use Policy. Requiring secure passwords, monitoring logins and limiting unsuccessful logins are just a few of the basics covered. Policies also need to cover basic security best practices such as not allowing passwords to be written down or shared with others.
  3. Security Awareness Training. Organizations must ensure regular training of employees regarding security updates and what to be aware of. You must also keep an audit trail of your reminders and communications in case you’re audited.
  4. Malicious Software Controls. You must have documented policies for the frequency with which anti-malware and antivirus software are updated and what happens if an infection/outbreak occurs.
  5. Disaster Recovery Plan. How you respond to emergency situations (of all shapes and sizes) must be fully documented and tested regularly. A full Disaster Recovery Plan is something our company can help you with.
  6. Media Disposal Policy. How do you dispose of old computer equipment and data? You must have policies and procedures in place that cover exactly how all equipment is properly disposed of and logged.
  7. Review And Audit Procedures. There’s much more to HIPAA compliance than the 6 items discussed here; however, be certain also that whatever you do has a firm audit trail/log that shows that everything has been executed according to plan.

These are just starting points. If you’re subject to HIPAA or just want to make sure that your company is covered by these simple best practices, contact our office and we’ll be happy to review these areas with you.

WAMS Named One of the Top-Performing SMB Channel Partners in the U.S. by Ingram Micro

World’s Largest Technology Distributor Recognizes WAMS in Annual Ingram Micro SMB 500 List

Brea, CA, Oct. 30, 2013 – Williams Automated Managements Services (WAMS) today announced it has been named to the Ingram Micro 2013 SMB 500. The list was revealed at Ingram Micro’s 2013 Fall SMB Invitational and celebrates the top 500 fastest-growing Ingram Micro U.S. channel partners focused on small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Ranked at number 121, WAMS grew its business with Ingram Micro Inc. (NYSE: IM), the world’s largest technology distributor, by more than 255 percent.

The Ingram Micro 2013 SMB 500 list was derived from the more than 20,000 U.S. solution providers and MSPs who work with Ingram Micro’s U.S. SMB Business Unit. This year’s top performers posted growth of nearly 250 percent. Developed in collaboration with Ingram Micro’s Business Intelligence Center and U.S. SMB Business Unit, as well as channel research services firm The 2112 Group, the list also takes into account select criteria such as company size, overall technology category revenue growth and innovation with SMB business engagements.

“We are honored to be recognized by such a large and authoritative company such as Ingram Micro for our efforts in providing our clients with superior IT support solutions and services,” says Kevin Haight, General Manager at WAMS. “We are proud of our growth and thank our loyal clients for helping WAMS to continue to grow!”

“Having the right technology solutions and services in play can bring significant advantages to small and midsize businesses, and can be the difference between good and great companies,” says Jamie Ferullo, director of SMB sales, Ingram Micro U.S. “Our SMB 500 list represents the ‘who’s who’ in SMB when it comes to top-performing VARs and MSPs. We’re thrilled to announce this year’s winners and congratulate WAMS on its growth and success.”

The complete 2013 Ingram Micro SMB 500 list can be seen at http://www.im-smb.com/smb500.

Additional information, content and resources are available at www.channelnomics.com/smb500.

More information about WAMS is available at www.wamsinc.com and at www.facebook.com/wamsinc.

About Ingram Micro Inc.

Ingram Micro is the world’s largest wholesale technology distributor and a global leader in IT supply-chain, mobile device lifecycle services and logistics solutions. As a vital link in the technology value chain, Ingram Micro creates sales and profitability opportunities for vendors and resellers through unique marketing programs, outsourced logistics and mobile solutions, technical support, financial services and product aggregation and distribution. The company is the only global broad-based IT distributor, serving approximately 160 countries on six continents with the world’s most comprehensive portfolio of IT products and services. Visit www.ingrammicro.com.

WAMS, Inc.

WAMS, Inc. has been providing law firms and businesses with comprehensive, high-quality IT/computer consulting and support solutions since 1974.  Our legacy of superior quality and service continues today as we design, install and maintain a vast network of both on-site and cloud based computer systems specifically tailored for each unique law firm, legal department and business client.  We offer a variety of services, including our low-cost ManagedCARE offerings, our hosted WAMS Cloud Connect platform, or you may select what individual services you need from our IT menu. Learn more at www.wamsinc.com.

New And Extremely Dangerous Security Threat! CryptoLocker

WAMS has recently seen a spike in infections of a specific piece of Ransomware called CryptoLocker that we MUST notify you about. Just in the past few weeks, we’ve had numerous firms and businesses who hadn’t ever used WAMS reach out to us because they had recently been infected by this dangerous malware, and it’s scary stuff!

This malware is sophisticated enough to understand and bypass current anti-virus and anti-malware software. So even if you are using strong protection, that will not be enough!

CryptoLocker uses social media or email to infect and attack. The malware sends users a believable message supposedly from FedEx, UPS, etc. with a tracking number. The email appears to be very legitimate, especially if your firm ships things using one of these carriers (all of us)! Users are tricked into clicking the link and ultimately end up infecting their machine and even worse, the entire network.

This malware will look at the local and network drives and shares and will ENCRYPT files matching a set of extensions for common business applications. The data inside of most all of your applications as well as any of your documents would be directly affected!

The damages could be fatal and would leave you with a file restore as your only option. The damage will also render your documents, spreadsheets, and PDF’s unreadable. The virus operates on file extensions, so typical Word non-extension files are probably safe, but Word forms with the .doc or .docx extension will be corrupted/encrypted.

As with many network security threats, antivirus/anti-malware companies are constantly on the defense against the threats. While it’s extremely important to have these measures in place, it cannot protect you 100% from viruses, malware, and cybercrime. What you can do though is have a solution already in place for when these nasty threats do penetrate.

This is a great time to also remind everyone about the importance backups!

At a daily minimum, you should have an offsite as well as an onsite image-based backup. On site backups allow you to restore your data quickly and easily, while offsite backups protect you against a catastrophic event at your location.

If CryptoLocker or any other threat happened to make it through your lines of defense, at least you will have an image-based back of your network, which allows you to “go back in time” to restore your network to exactly how it was before the malware hit.

How to save a Word file as a PDF

One of the more popular file formats used by businesses is the PDF (Portable Document Format). Download documents, brochures or other content online, and chances are high they will be saved to your computer as PDFs. This file type is so popular largely because it saves the document’s format and layout, making it accessible and readable on nearly any system. If you use Microsoft Word, do you know how to save a document as a PDF?

Here’s how you can save Microsoft Word 2010 and 2013 documents as PDFs.

Saving a Word 2010 document as a PDF

  1. Create and format the document as you would like the reader to see it if it were to be printed.
  2. Click File followed by Save As.
  3. Enter a name for the file in the Filename box. Be sure the name is easy to read and understandable. A bunch of numbers and unintelligible words will likely decrease the chances of the file being opened, or passing spam filters if emailed.
  4. Click on Save as type and select PDF.
  5. Select either Standard (for print and publishing online) or Minimum (for publishing online).
  6. Click Save.

Saving a Word 2013 document as a PDF

  1. Create and format the document as you would like the reader to see it if it were to be printed.
  2. Click File followed by Export.
  3. Select Create PDF/XPS from the menu that opens.
  4. Click Publish.

Word will create a PDF copy of the Word document and by default, save it to the same file the document is in.

Things to remember when creating PDFs Here are three important things to remember when creating PDFs in Word:

  • They are not meant to be edited. Because PDFs capture the formatting and layout of a document, they are often seen to be the final versions. As such, they are fairly hard to edit. It is better to ensure that the document is exactly what you want and error free before creating a PDF.
  • The simplest way to edit. The easiest way to edit a PDF is to actually edit the original Word document and then re-save it as a PDF. You can even use the same name, just confirm that you would like to replace the existing file. If this file has been uploaded to a website, you may want to re-upload it to ensure the correct version is online.
  • You can open PDFs and convert them to Word documents. To do this in Word 2013 select File, Open and select the PDF you would like to open. This should convert the document and open it with all images and content. Beware that formatting may be off or inconsistent and will likely need some work to make it readable or presentable.
  • Be sure to open and check the PDF before sending. Take a look for any formatting issues or problems with spacing and layout. The file should look exactly the same as the Word document.

If you are looking to learn more about using Microsoft Office in your company, please contact us today to see how we can help.