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Health IT News for Metro DC: March 2014 Choosing an EHR – The Second Time Around (3/14)

As last month’s article suggested, this may be a good year to change your EHR. If you’ve decided that it’s time to change, you can take some steps to ensure a better outcome this time. By Carl Bergman of EHR Selector.

Office 365 Twitter Feed (3/14)

The Office 365 Twitter Feed provides timely updates of Office 365 service incidents. Just keep in mind that most of the incidents won’t impact your users.

Office 365 Brainstorm tips – video clip examples (3/14)

Brainstorm has a new service that provides very-focused video clips for end users of Microsoft Office and other popular software programs. BEI is trialing this service and would love to hear from our clients about their thoughts about this service. A subscription starts at $25/user/year (less for larger numbers of users) and provides unlimited access to all of their videos. What we really like about the videos is that they are short and focused – you only learn about what you wanted to learn and don’t have to wade through other information.

Here are a couple of examples:

If you are interested in the service please send an email to Ellen Jennings atellen.jennings@beinetworks.com.

Windows XP Retirement – almost here! (3/14)

We’ve seen a wave of clients replacing Windows XP machines over the past year, but there are still lots out there! At the risk of sounding like a broken record, April 8 is the date. After that, Microsoft won’t patch the Windows XP Operating System, which means it will become a target for hackers. If you are still running Windows XP in your network, the biggest risk is infecting other computers – even your entire network.

So, given that April 8 is about two weeks away – what does this mean and what should you do?

  • Microsoft will not issue updates that address newly discovered security flaws in Windows XP or Office 2003. Hackers spend their time trying to exploit security holes and embed viruses and other malware in software. As they do this, firms such as Microsoft issue updates that plug these holes. After April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer do this for Windows XP or Office 2003. If you are running Windows XP or Office 2003 after April 8 you will be more susceptible to viruses and other malware.
  • Your computer will continue to run, it will just be more vulnerable.
  • As more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize their products for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter greater numbers of applications and devices that do not work with Windows XP or work less efficiently on Windows XP.
  • Most major antivirus vendors will continue to support Windows XP, but because Microsoft won’t issue security updates for Windows XP your network will still be at greater risk of attack and infection than it is today.
  • Make sure that you consider your entire network, because running XP machines exposes EVERYTHING to an increased level of threats, not just the XP machine.
  • If you are in a regulated industry this lack of support from Microsoft may result in an officially recognized control failure by an internal or external audit body, leading to suspension of certifications, and/or public notification of your organization’s inability to maintain its systems and customer information. Running Windows XP may be considered a HIPAA violation.

So what should you do?

  • Start planning now to replace your Windows XP workstations. Very likely the system running Windows XP is old enough that it is more cost effective to buy new hardware than to just update the operating system. Take advantage of Microsoft’s buyback program and get back up to $350 per Windows 8 machine.
  • Send an email to sales@beinetworks.com and we’ll review your particular situation and make recommendations.
  • Consider the ramifications to your business if your data is compromised.

Who holds the 7 keys to the Internet? (3/14)

This sounds like science fiction, but it is actually part of an effort to keep the Internet safer. An organization called Icann (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) runs this and controls the domain name system, or DNS. This is the Internet’s version of a telephone directory – a series links between web addresses to a series of numbers, called IP addresses. Without these addresses, you would need to know a long sequence of numbers for every site you wanted to visit.

Icann appoints two groups of key holders (East and West) and each key holder owns a traditional metal key to a safety deposit box, which in turn contains a smartcard, which in turn activates a machine that creates a new master key. The key holders have met four times a year since 2010. Together they have the ability to “restart the Internet” should a catastrophic event occur. A minimum of 5 people is needed, assuring that no single person will hold the power to bring the Internet down. Read more here.

Happy Birthday to the World Wide Web! (3/14)

The World Wide Web came into being 25 years ago on Wednesday March 12. Just in case you missed it, here are a few fun facts about this milestone:

  • 87% of US adults and 97% of 18-29 year-olds use the Internet
  • 40% of the total world’s population uses the Internet (usage is highest in the US, Canada and Europe)
  • To see what the World Wide Web looked like to users in 1993, click on this link and marvel at the simplicity!
  • We have a New York librarian who calls herself Net-mom® to thank for the term “Surf the Internet.” Jean Armour Polly penned an article called “Surfing the INTERNET” that was published in a University of Minnesota library bulletin in 1992.
  • The Internet and the World Wide Web are different. The Internet is the infrastructure that bridges millions of computers, and the World Wide Web is the huge collection of interconnected documents that can be accessed via the Internet.

Windows XP Retirement April 8, 2014 (2/14)

Less than 60 days away – what does this mean for you?

  • Microsoft will not issue updates that address newly discovered security flaws in Windows XP or Office 2003. Hackers spend their time trying to exploit security holes and embed viruses and other malware in software. As they do this, firms such as Microsoft issue updates that plug these holes. After April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer do this for Windows XP or Office 2003. If you are running Windows XP or Office 2003 after April 8 you will be more susceptible to viruses and other malware.
  • Your computer will continue to run, it will just be more vulnerable.
  • As more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize their products for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter greater numbers of applications and devices that do not work with Windows XP or work less efficiently on Windows XP.
  • Most major antivirus vendors will continue to support Windows XP, but because Microsoft won’t issue security updates for Windows XP your network will still be at greater risk of attack and infection than it is today.
  • Make sure that you consider your entire network, because running XP machines exposes EVERYTHING to an increased level of threats, not just the XP machine.
  • If you are in a regulated industry this lack of support from Microsoft may result in an officially recognized control failure by an internal or external audit body, leading to suspension of certifications, and/or public notification of your organization’s inability to maintain its systems and customer information. Running Windows XP may be considered a HIPAA violation.

So what should you do?

  • Start planning now to replace your Windows XP workstations. Very likely the system running Windows XP is old enough that it is more cost effective to buy new hardware than to just update the operating system. Take advantage of Microsoft’s buyback program and get back up to $350 per Windows 8 machine.
  • Send an email to sales@beinetworks.com and we’ll review your particular situation and make recommendations.
  • Consider the ramifications to your business if your data is compromised.

Microsoft Office Online (2/14)

And Office Web Apps has been renamed Office Online – we think the reason for this is just to minimize confusion. Office Online is a free, online version of Office that combines commonly used Office features and real-time co-authoring capabilities so you can collaborate for free with friends and family on shared documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and notebooks.

Microsoft OneDrive (2/14)

Microsoft SkyDrive has been renamed OneDrive. The name change is the result of a British court ruling that the SkyDrive name infringed on a trademark held by British Sky Broadcasting Group. Users won’t experience any change in service and you don’t need to take any action, but we wanted to let you know about the new name. If you’re not already using OneDrive as part of Office 365, you can get it for free by going here. You just need a Microsoft account, which is free too!

Encrypting your Email with Office 365 (2/14)

Who should worry about encrypting email?

If you are doing any of these, then you should!

  • A bank sending credit card statements to customers over email.
  • An insurance company providing details about the policy to clients.
  • A mortgage broker requesting financial information from a customer for a loan application.
  • A healthcare provider using encrypted messages to send healthcare information to patients.
  • An attorney sending confidential information to a client or another attorney.
  • A consultant sending a contract to a client.
  • A therapist providing a patient diagnosis to an insurance company.

Microsoft has long provided the option to purchase Email Encryption services, but with the recent release it is more completely integrated with both Office 365 and Exchange Online Protection.

How does do you tell the email system when to encrypt?

To setup Email Encryption, your email administrator defines a set of rules to tell your email system when to encrypt email. Examples of these rules are:

  • Whenever [Encrypt] appears in the subject line of an email, encrypt that email.
  • Whenever an email is sent to a specific user or domain, encrypt that email.
  • Whenever a specific word appears in an email, encrypt that email.

How does it work?

When an external recipient receives an encrypted message from your company, they see an encrypted attachment and an instruction to view the encrypted message. The recipient needs to log in and establish a password the first time to read the attachment.

For more information about Office 365 Message Encryption click here. The service is included in Office 365 E3 and E4, and can be purchased separately by buying Windows Azure Rights Management for $2/user/month. If you would like to see an example of an encrypted email, please send an email to info@beinetworks.com with Email Encryption in the subject line. We’ll send an encrypted email back to you.




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