Microsoft Teams Can Help You With HIPAA Compliance

a man sitting on a bed using a laptop computer

Let’s talk about Microsoft Teams and how it helps keep our information safe. Microsoft Teams is a special tool that people use to communicate and share information, especially in places like hospitals. It’s important for hospitals and healthcare providers to follow certain rules to protect people’s private information, and Microsoft Teams helps with that.

First, let’s learn about something called HIPAA. HIPAA is a set of rules that make sure our personal and health information stays private. It stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. When hospitals want to use Microsoft Teams to talk about important health information, they need to sign an agreement with Microsoft. This agreement makes sure that the software follows all the HIPAA rules.

To use Microsoft Teams in a way that follows HIPAA, hospitals need a special account called Microsoft 365 and a premium edition of Microsoft Teams. This helps them do things like check if everything is following the rules, get reports about their compliance, and make sure all the settings are correct.

So why is this important?

Well, imagine you’re at the doctor’s office, and the nurse needs to tell the doctor something important about your health. They can use Microsoft Teams to send a message to the doctor securely. This means only the people who are supposed to see the message can see it, and it won’t be shared with anyone else.

Microsoft Teams has some special features to keep our information safe. It has access controls, which means only the right people can log in and see the information. It also has something called encryption, which changes the information into a secret code that only the right people can understand.

There are a few things a law firm can do to make sure they are using Microsoft Teams in a safe way. They can limit the sharing and communication to only happen in Microsoft Teams, so everything stays in one safe place. They can also review and restrict who can see certain things, so only the right people have access. It’s also important to check regularly if everything is following the rules and fix any problems.

Remember, it’s really important to keep our private information safe, especially when it comes to our health. Microsoft Teams helps lawyers and healthcare providers do that by following the HIPAA rules and making sure only the right people can see our information.

So next time you’re at the doctor’s office, know that they’re using special tools like Microsoft Teams to keep your information safe and secure.

How to Smoothly Migrate to the Cloud

a blue cloud floating over water with bubbles

Migrating to the cloud can be an incredible investment for companies looking to optimize performance, improve efficiencies, and provide better customer experiences. Cloud migration can be a daunting task, and a successful migration takes careful planning and preparation. Just up and moving data without a strategy can cause technical, financial, and productivity issues. You need to understand your current systems and how moving to the cloud changes your organization and business models. These tips and tricks are here to help you make the migration process easy and efficient. 

Select a Migration Strategy

Before you move to a cloud solution, you want to evaluate your current infrastructure to understand how migration impacts it. You want to determine how applications and data are stored and accessed and the system requirements. Determine the workloads and processes you want to be migrated to the cloud. 

Select a migration strategy based on your evaluation and the best approach for your business. The six Rs of cloud migration are:

  • Rehost – Also called a lift and shift, moves existing data and applications to the cloud as an exact copy. It’s the quickest and most cost-effective approach.
  • Replatform – This is a variation of the rehost or lift and shift where you don’t change the core structure of the applications but make minor cloud adjustments to optimize cloud infrastructure. 
  • Repurchase – With this approach, you move your applications and processes to a new Software as a Service (SaaS) platform. 
  • Refactoring – Reimagining applications with cloud-native capability to improve reliability and scalability for future use. 
  • Retire – With this approach, you would consider if the application is needed and leave it on the in-house server for more review before migration. 
  • Retain – Making the decision to delay the migration is a retaining strategy if the business needs to put the migration on hold.  

Choose KPIs Tailored to Your Business

A successful cloud implementation relies on key performance indicators or KPIs to provide valuable data on how effective the migration to the cloud is. There may be issues throughout the migration that you want to keep an eye on to ensure the cloud migration is minimizing negative impacts. Some important KPIs include:

  • Application Performance – Are the applications functioning as intended, or are there errors?
  • User Experience – Determine the user experience by evaluating page load times, lag, and crashes.
  • Infrastructure – How much CPU and memory is used and how the system performs. 

Choose metrics and KPIs based on the individual goals of your business. Measuring the impact of the cloud solution requires you to select these KPIs early in the planning stages and measure them throughout the migration process. You want to understand if the migration has improved or degraded the experience and determine if it was a cost-effective solution to continue investing in. 

Migrate and Monitor 

Once you’ve made all of your preparations, begin migrations during lower traffic hours to reduce productivity stalls and impacts on user experiences. Once the selected strategy has been completed, monitor the efforts to ensure the migration was successful. Confirm that all data and applications were migrated successfully and security systems are in place.

Ready to Start Migrating to the Cloud?

If your business is ready to move forward in cloud adoption, contact us at WheelHouse IT. We work closely with your team to ensure you receive the best ROI with a tailored migration strategy to fit your needs and get you the best ROI. Call us at 954.474.2204. 

Contact Us Today and Check Out Our Blog!

5 Advantages of Azure Virtual Desktop

a computer screen with icons and symbols surrounding it

The current remote work trend has led to a spike in technology-driven innovations to ease work experience. More and more emphasis is being placed on the importance of cloud computing in modern-day reality. Azure Virtual Desktop is one of the cloud-computing technologies to make remote IT support easier.

Companies are embracing Virtual Desktop technology to promote the efficiency of their employees working remotely. To understand the advantages to business performance, it is pertinent to know what a Virtual Desktop is.

What is a Virtual Desktop?

A Virtual Desktop is a cloud computing software that allows the delivery of virtual desktops to users anywhere using the internet. Service providers manage this service for businesses that have a user subscription. The package usually covers updates, maintenance, data storage, and backup management, typically including maintenance, backup, updates, and data storage.

What are the advantages of a Virtual Desktop?

Compared to the regular desktop model, a Virtual Desktop has a lot of advantages for businesses and users. Below are five benefits of a Virtual Desktop to businesses.

Deployment is faster

Getting the functionalities of a Virtual Desktop across to end users doesn’t take as much time as setting up the traditional desktop. This is because the configuration is already complete and ready. All that needs to be done is establish a connection on a new device.

Reduced cost

Considering businesses that do not require extensive staffing, a Virtual Desktop is cheaper as it is only set up for the number of employees available at a time. It also does not require as much computing power as a regular desktop device, making it cheaper.

Less IT support Downtime.

Because Virtual Dekstop support is delivered remotely, Downtime is very minimal. The support team could quickly get across to employees’ systems over the internet.

Better security

Data in a Virtual Desktop is stored in a data center. Therefore, if a device is stolen, there is less likelihood of any data being accessed. This reduces security risk and data breaches. It is also easier to install security software and updates remotely on a Virtual Desktop.

More flexibility

Data can be accessed from any device, employees can work on their devices from the office and remotely, and businesses do not have to worry about supporting all the instruments, as this is now the duty of the remote cloud service provider.

Azure Virtual Desktop significantly saves businesses time and stress supporting remote workers and ensuring that everything is working fine. The service providers might not entirely scrap the need for an in-house IT support team, but they could reduce the overhead and money spent on data center maintenance.

Take your remote working experience to a whole new level by contacting the WheelHouse IT team on (877) 771-2384 or by visiting to install Azure Virtual Desktop cloud services.

We are dedicated to ensuring premium cybersecurity, higher productivity, and excellent data maintenance for all customers.

HIPAA Technical Safeguards

the word security is displayed on a computer screen

IT Security And HIPAA Technical Safeguards

Does your healthcare organization need to be HIPAA Compliant? The HIPAA Cybersecurity and IT Security Services that are implemented by Wheelhouse IT can protect your practice from unnoticed threats. Protecting your practice from HIPAA violations is critical if you are a healthcare provider.

If your practice and patients aren’t protected by the most recent HIPAA Compliance and technology, you could be putting your livelihood at risk. Security breaches and unauthorized access to health information and electronic patient health information can result in heavy fines, as well as loss of business.  When it comes to data security and technology management, Wheelhouse IT can make sure your practice be HIPAA cybersecurity and IT security compliant, while also ensuring that it’s employing best practices to reduce risks.

In this article, we discuss the best practices for technical safeguards for HIPAA, focusing on cybersecurity and IT security.

HIPAA violations and the compromise of protected health information (PHI) remain a threat and a risk for covered entities and their business partners. The goal of HIPAA is to help you reduce the risks to your organization and any stored or transmitted information, even though it may appear confusing and numerous at first glance. The Technical Safeguards detailed in the HIPAA Security Rule are one of these requirements.

The HIPAA Security Rule requires three kinds of safeguards that organizations must implement: administrative, physical, and technical safeguards. We’ll focus on technical safeguards which outline the protections that organizations need to be taking to protect electronic protected health information (ePHI). 

What are Technical Safeguards?

HIPAA technical safeguards protect PHI and have become a major part of any HIPAA Privacy program. Technical safeguards are important due to the advances in technology (assistive technology) in the health care industry. They are key elements that help to maintain the safety of EPHI as the internet changes. One of the greatest challenges of healthcare organizations face is that of protecting electronic protected health information (EPHI). This would include the protection of electronic health records, from various internal and external risks with current technology. The answer to the question, What are Technical Safeguards? They are the tools covered entities to use to protect ePHI.

There are several overarching standards discussed within the HIPAA technical safeguards:

  • Access Control – giving users rights and/or privileges to access and perform functions using information systems, applications, compatible technology, programs, or files.
  • Audit Controls – hardware, software, and/or procedural mechanisms that record and examine information system activity that contains or use ePHI.
  • Integrity Controls – implementing policies and procedures for ePHI protection against alteration or destruction.
  • Person or Entity Authentication – ensuring a person’s identity  and confidentiality of communications (authentication to employees) before giving him or her ePHI access.
  • Transmission Security – guarding against unauthorized ePHI access when data is transmitted over an electronic communications network.


Cybersecurity is the art of protecting networks, devices, and data from unauthorized access or criminal use and the practice of ensuring confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information. Using cybersecurity to protect EPHI is a key feature of Technical Safeguards in the Security Rule of HIPAA. Technical safeguards are key protections due to constant technological advancements in the health care industry.

They are key elements that help to maintain the safety of EPHI as the internet changes. One of the greatest challenges healthcare organizations face is that of protecting electronic protected health information (EPHI). This includes the protection of electronic health records, from various internal and external risks. To best reduce risks to EPHI security, covered entities must implement Technical Safeguards.

There are many risks, and these come in various forms. Among these is malware erasing your entire system and access rights, a cyber-attacker breaching your electronic information systems and altering files, a cyber-hijacker or unauthorized users using your computer, control access, and other electronic mechanisms to attack others, or an attacker stealing or freezing your data in return for money. There is no guarantee that even with the best precautions and technical policies you will prevent this, but there are steps you can take to minimize the chances in your electronic networks.

Reasonable Safeguards

Reasonable Safeguards for PHI are precautions that a prudent person must take to prevent disclosure of Protected Health Information by health care providers. To protect all forms of PHI, verbal, paper, and electronic, providers must apply these safeguards. They help prevent unauthorized uses or disclosures of PHI. In addition, safeguards must be part of every privacy compliance plan. Organizations must share this with all members of the organization.

An organization may face multiple challenges as it attempts to protect the essential element: the EPHI. These issues must all be considered as they may originate from inside or outside the organization. Any organization needs to perform a full risk analysis and addressable specification to protect the organization from such a variety of threats. We present several examples of cyberthreats in healthcare you must be ready to address. This will help you as you develop your Security Program. First, we must understand the Technical Safeguards of the Security Rule.

Practicing Good Cyber Hygiene

When it comes to cybersecurity, it’s important to know what to look out for, tracking user identity, how to report any potential threats and security risks, and most importantly how to keep your practice and your patient data safe by maintaining good security standards. Recently, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the United Kingdom National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) issued a joint release featuring additional guidance on how to spot potential threats from user activity and take important technical security measures. Important tips for safeguarding your practice’s security measures during this time of increased risk include:

  • Make it harder for attackers and unauthorized persons to gain access to your users.
  • Know how to identify and report any suspected threats.
  • Protect your organization from the effects of undetected scams
  • Respond quickly and effectively to any incidents that do occur

There’s a lot of good ‘cyber hygiene’ out there, but here are a few top tips to keep your practice operations clean:

  • Secure systems that enable remote access
  • Ensure that employees have updated all anti-malware and antivirus software programs and software infrastructure on their devices
  • Encrypt any emails and electronic systems that include PHI or any other personal or financial information
  • Properly dispose of any PHI both electronic and paper when working off-site
  • Remind employees of appropriate access to PHI and implement controls such as applying additional protections for COVID-19 health records
  • Ensure that PHI is only accessed when necessary, especially on less secure wireless networks  and electronic procedures such as those used when working from home

Your Trusted Cybersecurity & IT Security Services Partner  

As opposed to large corporations, healthcare organizations lack sophisticated backup systems and other forms of resilience, making them prime targets for ransomware attacks. Unintentionally opened email attachments have become a common entry point for ransomware attacks. The malicious code spreads throughout the computer system, locking and encrypting data folders and the operating system.

Wheelhouse IT Cyber Security & IT Security Services assist organizations with HIPAA regulatory standards. HIPAA requires that patient data be stored securely, access to the data be controlled and monitored and that healthcare organizations have the policies, procedures, and systems needed to ensure compliance. Our team will Implement and govern your HIPAA Security Program to ensure your compliance daily. Rescuing risk of data loss for inform collect, store, and costly regulatory fines. Contact us today!