May 26, 2019

Zephyr Networks Celebrates On Labor Day How Our Proactive Solutions For IT Services Help People Do Their Jobs Well

On Labor Day, Zephyr Networks celebrates how our proactive solutions for IT services help people do their job well. In small to mid-sized businesses across Orange County, the IT services of Zephyr Network often have proven to be the difference in terms of helping a company effectively integrate new technologies and contingency planning into their business model. The goal os Zephyr Networks is to allow technology to be a bonus that helps your company as opposed to a distraction that damages your productivity.

IT Services & Labor Day

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The Zephyr IT Services Pyramid Of Success

A Zephyr Technology Officer is appointed to each of our client’s as an ongoing IT consultant to ensure the ongoing smooth and successful applications of new technologies and help with IT services. As a PTO (Professional Technological Organization), Zephyr Networks helps our clients with information technology challenges, cloud applications, network security and website problems. By focusing on our four-part tiered solution of stability, continuity, security and productivity, our IT services help allow for technology to be an essential element of your company’s future success.

Viable IT Services Solutions

At Zephyr Networks, the process of our initial consultations with a new client is based on learning your company’s business model. By understanding your company’s business model, we are able to figure the technological gaps causing your company problems and provide short cuts and viable IT services solutions. On Labor Day, we hope to consistently help make the work of our clients more effective and more efficient.

Wikipedia defines Labor Day as being “dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country.” For Zephyr Networks, the technological well-being of your company is important to us. If you want to learn more about our proactive solutions for IT services, please call us toll free at (800) 884-7559 or fill out our handy contact form.

 

 

 

3 HIPAA Omnibus Rule Compliance Tips For Health Care Organizations

hipaa omnibus rule, compliance, zephyr networks

HIPAA Omnibus Rule & Compliance

With March 26 being the effective date of the HIPAA Omnibus Rule taking effect, the time for your health care company to contemplate possible compliance options practically is over.  What keeps your company from being in real trouble is that Sept. 23 is the actual compliance enforcement date. The HIPAA Omnibus Rule modifies the HIPAA privacy, security and enforcement rules as well as the HIPAA breach notification regulations. These changes are complex and detailed because they include both greater accountability and documentation requirements. Such requirements complicate the rush for an implementation plan. The solution may not be simple, but Zephyr Networks can point you in the right direction to accomplish the first steps.

3 HIPAA Omnibus Rule Compliance Tips

HIPAA Compliance Tip 1: Implementation

Numerous healthcare associations, Internet resources and consultants can help your company understand the HIPAA updates, what’s changed from the earlier versions of the HIPAA Omnibus Rule, and where the risks are to your company. How complicated the implementation plan is depends on how compliant your program is today with past HIPAA standards and rules.

Your health care organization should be able to use the HHS Security Framework as a baseline and develop a compliance program. Still, very few people in the health care industry have read the entire HIPAA Omnibus Rule. It is extremely lengthy so the best bet is to use the search feature of your PDF reader and look for “Final Rule.” Read and understand every section that starts with this heading. Make sure you have good policies, documentation, processes and controls in place to meet each standard. Zephyr Networks can help our clients with the network security procedures and IT needs that apply.

In addition, The National Institute of Standards and Technology offers numerous free guidelines for how to create and manage security programs, including a HIPAA Security Resource Guide and HIPAA Toolkit.

HIPAA Compliance Tip 2: Operational Compliance

The operational goal of every compliance program should be simplicity and universal application in the context of your company. Each compliance program can be measured against the metrics used by the Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights in its HIPAA audit program protocol. Compare your program of processes, controls, policies and training against the 78 security, 81 privacy and 10 breach elements. If you believe there is a gap, you most likely have identified a risk. The IT experts at Zephyr Networks can aid you in this complex process.

HIPAA Compliance Tip 3: Ongoing Transition Plan

The rise in reporting of breach incidents combined with the new hefty fines should motivate your motivate your health care company to prioritize an ongoing transition plan. By working with a quality IT and network security provider like Zephyr Networks, you can help guarantee that the initial push becomes an ongoing part of your business model. When it comes to regulations as complex as the new HIPAA Omnibus Rule, one initial push is not enough. Your health care company has to focus on creating an ongoing transition plan that turns the initial shift into a part of your company’s inherent culture and technological approach . Implementation must evolve to become a normative state of being.

After all, your health care company’s goals in this compliance process of implementation is the same as the main goal behind the new HIPAA Omnibus Rule. Like the new rules that have expanded HIPAA, a big part of your company’s ultimate goal is to improve the quality, integrity, and confidentiality of your patient’s protected health information. Still, Zephyr Networks understands how intimidating compliance with the new HIPAA Omnibus Rule can be for any health care company or business. This is why the information technology experts and network security consultants at Zephyr Networks are available to help your health care company navigate these dangerous waters.

 

The Google Drive Suite Of Google Apps Part 2 – 13 Premium Apps

Beyond allowing a company to store and access files from anywhere, Google Drive allows access to an amazing suite of Google Apps

This is the second part of a two-part blog focusing on the remote access potential of Google Drive and the variety of Google Apps available in the cloud. Zephyr Networks has seen first-hand with our clients that Google’s cloud-storage solution is a valuable resource for small to mid-sized businesses. Beyond allowing a company to store and access files from anywhere, the first 5 GB of cloud storage are free. What is even more impressive is that Google Drive allows access to an amazing suite of Google Apps, including full integration with third-party applications.

In Part 2 of this article, Zephyr Networks extends the list of productivity applications that work with Google Drive to include the Google Apps that have to be paid for on an ongoing basis. You can find the comprehensive list of all of the apps available, including those in the Beta-testing phase, at the Chrome Web Store. Zephyr Networks helps to guide our client companies in knowing what Google Apps makes the most sense for their business model and needs.

Part 1 of this article focused on 20 completely free Google Apps. Part 2 focuses on 13 Google Apps that need to be paid for based on usage rates, monthly subscriptions and premium plans. The majority of these paid apps are free to try, and some of the apps continue to be free if the usage rates remain beneath the pay threshold.

Part 2 – 13 Premium Google Apps

  1. HelloFax makes it easy to sign documents and send faxes online. Send and receive faxes. Sign documents and fill out forms. Price: Up to 5 fax pages per month free.
  2. SlideRocket creates stunning presentations. Save and share directly from Google Drive. Manage a library of presentations, slides and assets. Price: Lite is free; Pro is $24/month.
  3. Balsamiq Mockups lets you create, edit and share sketch-quality wireframes, all within Drive. Price: Full functionality starts at $5/month.
  4. Floorplanner gives you the tools to make floor plans fast. Recreate your home, garden or office with a library of objects to reshape, resize and rotate. Price: 1 project is free; 5 projects is $14.95/year.
  5. Conceptboard is an app for visual online collaboration using whiteboards. Price: Individual plans range from free to $9/month.
  6. MindMeister Create, edit and share mind maps. Plan projects, manage meetings and sketch out business plans online with partners and colleagues, all in real time. Price: Personal plan is $4.99/month.
  7. Smartsheet Project Management combines a familiar spreadsheet interface with automated workflows, sub-tasks, dependencies, and collaborative worksheets with interactive file sharing and notifications. Smartsheet Price: Paid plans start at $15.95/month.
  8. WeVideo makes video editing easy for everyone and accessible from anywhere. Features optional storyboard mode for quick and easy editing. Style your video with creative and professional themes. Price: Up to 15 min export is free; 1-hour export is $4.99/month.
  9. Zoho Writer is an online word processor that lets you access, edit and share your documents online. Features instant collaboration, inline commenting and chat facilities. Price: Personal plan is free; Standard plan is $3 per user/month.
  10. Zoho Sheet is an app to create and edit spreadsheets from anywhere. Share spreadsheets and collaborate in real time. Price: Personal plan is free; Standard plan is $3 per user/month.
  11. Zoho Show is an online tool for making powerful presentations. It allows users to collaborate on presentations and make remote presentations to clients. Price: Personal plan is free; Standard plan is $3 per user/month.
  12. Heap Note is a note-taking, task-managing, and task-scheduling app, all in one. Price: Up to 5 tables free; Premium plan is $1.99/month.
  13. PowToon is a video animation and presentation application. Create an animated video, and then convert it into an animated presentation. Price: Monthly plans start at $9/month.

The Google Drive Suite Of Google Apps Part 1 – 20 Free Apps

With a vast variety of Google Apps in the cloud, remote access can be taken to a new level of excellence

Zephyr Networks knows from experience that Google’s cloud-storage solution is a valuable resource for small to mid-sized businesses. Beyond allowing you to store and access your files from anywhere with the first 5 GB of cloud storage free, it also allows access to an amazing suite of Google Apps, including full integration with third-party applications. With the vast variety of Google Apps in the cloud, remote access has been taken to a new level of excellence.

In this two-part article, Zephyr Networks offers a list of productivity applications that work with Google Drive. You can find the comprehensive list of all of the apps available, including those in the Beta-testing phase, at the Chrome Web Store. Zephyr Networks helps to guide our client companies in knowing what Google Apps makes the most sense for their business model and needs.

Below is the first part of the article that covers the available free Google Apps offered in the Google Drive Suite of Applications. Part 1 focuses on 20 completely free Google Apps. Part 2 focuses on 13 Google Apps that need to be paid for based on usage rates, monthly subscriptions and premium plans.

Part 1 – 20 Free Google Apps

1. Google Docs Access, create, and edit old Google docs in Google Drive. Edit documents with collaborators, and see changes as they type. Price: Free.

2. Google Slides creates presentations with rich animations, drawings, transitions, themes, and more. Presentations are automatically saved and stored in Google Drive. Price: Free.

3. Google Sheets creates and shares spreadsheets. Then publish them publicly, share them with others, or keep them private. Price: Free.

4. Google Drawings builds diagrams, and creates flowcharts. Easily add them to other documents, or embed them on a website. Price: Free.

5. Google Forms creates online forms and surveys, and then check the results in a neatly organized spreadsheet. Share forms from a link, embed them on your website, or right inside an email. Price: Free.

6. Google Apps Script is a JavaScript cloud scripting language that provides easy ways to automate tasks, across Google products and third-party services, and build web applications. Price: Free.

7. RealtimeBoard is an easy to use whiteboard that helps you visualize and collaborate. With markup tools and mini-chats, work on your projects and discuss in real time. Price: Free.

8. Pixlr Express is a photo editor with nearly 250 effects, including borders, overlays, color adjustments, crop and rotation editors. Price: Free.

9. PicMonkey is a free photo editor with collage, touch-up, fonts, effects, filters, frames, and stickers. Price: Free.

10. draw.io. draw.io is a free diagramming application that enables you to draw flowcharts, network diagrams, wire framing and mockups, and more. Price: Free.

11. Pixlr Editor is a full-featured web-based photo editor. Tools include drawing, clone, sharpen and blur, filters and adjustments. Price: Free.

12. Gantter is an enterprise cloud-based project scheduling application. Easily import and open existing Microsoft Project files. Price: Free.

13. Marqueed is a collaboration tool to discuss and work on images and designs. Price: Free.

14. PDF Mergy provides a simple way to merge PDF files. You can either select the files you want to merge from you computer or drop them on the app using drag and drop. Price: Free.

15. Open Drive is a collective encyclopedia project based on cloud public files. It’s designed to provide free reusable contents. Price: Free.

16. Form+ provides an interface to create forms by just dragging and dropping components. Supports the creation of forms with a wide variety of input types. Price: Free.

17. Ultradox generate contracts, invoices and much more from Google Docs templates. Create personalized documents from your own templates by turning Google Docs into a template engine. Price: Free.

18. Presentation Remote enables you to use a smartphone as a remote control for presentations. Price: Free.

19. TwistedWave is a full-featured audio editor that allows you to edit audio files from your computer or Google Drive. Save in one of the many supported file formats with multiple export capabilities. Price: Free.

20. Revisu enables creative teams to share their designs, track versions, and collect feedback. Automatically keep collaborators in the loop whenever a new version is uploaded. Price: Free.

Showing The Prominence Of Cyber Defense, Cisco To Buy Cybersecurity Company SourceFire For $2.7 Billion

At the end of July 2013, Cisco Systems agreed to buy Sourcefire, a key provider of cybersecurity services, for about $2.7 billion in cash. Reported in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, the acquisition reflects the growing fervor for cyber defense and the rising value of companies that can help guard against computer-based attacks. As a major Orange County provider of IT solutions and cybersecurity, Zephyr Networks  believes the efforts of major players in the technological industry to provide cybersecurity is only just beginning. Unlike the corporate giants, however, Zephyr Networks is able to deliver IT solutions and cybersecurity to small to mid-sized Orange County businesses with a desire to connect with the human face of their cyber defense.

Cybersecurity Equals Big Business

Under the terms of the mega deal, Cisco will pay $76 a share in cash, nearly 30 percent higher than Sourcefire’s closing price on Monday. The offer includes retention-based incentives for Sourcefire’s executives. Founded in 2001, Sourcefire has grown into a major cybersecurity provider. In 2012, the company reported $5 million in profit on revenue $223.1 million. Shares in Sourcefire climbed about 29 percent in premarket trading, to $76.40, over the deal price, in a potential sign that investors might be expecting a bidding war. After all, quality cybersecurity providers on the level of Sourcefire are few and far between, and there might be other bidders coming to the table.

cybersecurity, cyber defense, it solutions

Sourcefire & The Importance of Cybersecurity

In a statement, Cisco said that adding Sourcefire would take it’s portfolio of security offerings to the next-generation of excellence. “Buy has always been a key part of our build-buy-partner innovation strategy,” said Hilton Romanski, a Cisco vice president for corporate development. “Sourcefire aligns well with Cisco’s future vision for security and supports the key pillars of our security strategy.” Without question, the acquisition of Sourcefire is symbolic of the primary role that Cyber Defense has ascended to in the arena of business, technology and security.

Zephyr Networks & Affordable Cybersecurity

The focus of the work of Zephyr Networks  the IT stability and cybersecurity of our client company. If you want to find out how our IT solutions can help your company and ensure your cybersecurity , please contact Zephyr Networks today. To learn more about cybersecurity strategies that are affordable and actually work, call Zephyr toll free at (800) 884-7559 or fill out our handy contact form.

 

Updating Technology And IT Maintenance Is No Longer A Choice For Orange County Businesses Needing To Stay Competitive

If you are asking whether it is time to give your Orange County business a technology update to focus on IT maintenance, Zephyr Networks knows from experience that the time probably has long passed. Technology innovation, network updates and information tech security are progressing faster and faster. The question of IT maintenance and the need to  update your office technology is not a choice to consider every couple of years or so. Instead, IT maintenance and technological updates should be maintained and monitored on a regular basis.  Zephyr Networks is here to help make that information technology challenge for your Orange County-based company into a profitable and secure reality.

The Importance of IT Maintenance

Research from the Federation of Small Businesses suggests that firms that spent just $4,500 on average to update their hardware – desktops, mobiles, printers and the like – saw their turnover and profits rise 35 per cent after a year. The dual reason for this increase in profitability is very simple: productivity and security. Old hardware is not just slower; it is a setback because it fails to take advantage of new applications and updated network capabilities. Zephyr Networks can promise you that a small investment into IT maintenance through updating your information technology will help your company in the long run.

IT maintennace

Update Technology And Avoid Orange County Business Hassles

There is nothing worse than having to wait 15 minutes for your personal computer to turn on in the morning. It is extremely frustrating. There comes a point when you are just throwing good money away by trying to fix hardware that is simply too old. Invest in some new laptops or desktop PCs and you will immediately see happier employees. This will naturally lead to happier customers and open the door to launching a new information technology program in your office with first-class network security.

By using Google Apps and other virtualization technologies, you can save money while increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of your business. Zephyr Networks prides itself on being able to show our client companies how to access and employ the latest developments in modern technologies. By turning your technology services into an asset as opposed to a headache, we give you the freedom to work on expanding your business without being lost in the minutiae of your business.

What else should an Orange County business spend its money on? The next thing to sort out is the website. It’s what everyone uses nowadays to find out about your business. They will simply search for your business name on Google and, if they don’t find you, they will move on to the next one. Don’t forget the ubiquitous social media sites like Facebook (www.facebook.com) and LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com), which are just as important nowadays for a business presence on the World Wide Web. As your needs grow, it’s best to speak with a professional IT company for advice on finding the right website optimization strategy and quality vendors.

Another important thing for a business to be able to do is connect with its customers. As you know, connecting is much more than phone and email these days. There is nothing like a face-to-face meeting,  but such meetings are not always possible and can become very expensive. There are, however, a wide range of online collaboration tools which allow sharing of documents, on-screen presentation sharing, voice and even video. These tools like Skype and mobile networking devices are essential to the modern business. By taking advantage of iPads and communication-focused apps, Zephyr Networks has lowered Wi-Fi costs for our clients when needed.

Updating Technology Is IT Maintenance

Zephyr Networks can guide you in the process of updating your business technology needs and helping you put in place an ongoing program of monitoring, maintenance and security. Our goal is to make sure that your business stays competitive by keeping up with current technological trends and advantages. At the same time, we help to guarantee your cyber security and avoid data breaches. To learn more, please call Zephyr Networks toll free at (800) 884-7559 or fill out our handy contact form.

Truly Proactive IT Support

Marc Winger of Zephyr Networks

Marc Winger of Zephyr Networks

Many “Managed Service Providers” (MSP’s) promise the world. They talk about 24 by 7 monitoring and response. But many of them do this by using an automated program that, if it identifies a problem on your servers, it notifies you and maybe runs a script to restart a program while they snore away. These scripts are supposed to keep your system running well all the time and make it so they don’t have to send someone onsite.

To Zephyr, this is not enough. Your network is a unique, living, ever changing, dynamic system that needs proactive personalized attention to keep it running its best. Our Proactive Plus IT Infrastructure Care program includes time designated for our technicians to come on-site and go through checklists specifically designed for your network. But most importantly, a solid percentage of that time is designated to listening to end users I.T. needs. We focus on trying to determine what will help make them more productive. Part of that is listening to their honest perception of their network performance. Part of it is just watching how they work and making some subtle suggestions on shortcuts. As a company, we think it is important to get the pulse of a network from the people who use it most. A lot of that is listening, and when was the last time your IT consultant actually listened.