Is your data safe in the cloud?

cloud computingThe answer is “maybe.”  While top-tier services such as OneDrive, Dropbox, and Google Drive all have some strict HIPAA-level or higher security options, using these providers does not automatically make your data safe. The problem is that most cloud and data hosting providers offer various levels of security. Configuring these services can be complex.

The key to “data security” is to first understand fully your compliance requirements. Then, you must accurately configure the tool or hosting services to those requirements. In the case with Google, you must notify them that you are storing private health information (PHI) and sign their business associate agreement (BAA) before they even activate HIPAA-level protections.

We often hear prospects say, “I’ve got Google so we’re HIPAA compliant, right?”  Our next question is: “Did you sign the Business Associate Agreement? Often the prospect says, “No. We didn’t realize that was required. We assumed that by signing up for services, we were all set.” Upon a closer technical look, we often find that their services are not adequately configured to provide the protection they need.

Securing your most valuable asset – your data – does not occur in a vacuum and it’s only as strong as the weakest link. So to ensure your cloud-based data is safe, we recommend using this checklist as a starting point to evaluate your security status:

  • Where does your data travel to? Specifically – which devices store it after or during access? Are these devices secure? Do they require encryption? Does your data leave the country and is that legal in your particular industry?
  • Are the entry points into your network or data access properly controlled, secured and defined? Remember to consider all entry points including your company Wi-Fi, mobile devices and remote workers’ home PCs.
  • Who has authorization to access your data? Are they trained on your data security policies? For example, are they allowed to store data on sites like Dropbox without your knowledge?
  • Is data sharing activated and if so to which devices, users or networks? Are those networks secured at the same level that you require?
  • Do you require data and user access logging to prove your due diligence in protecting sensitive information such as PHI?

The best approach to cloud security is first to ensure that your data footprint is as small as possible, map out where data goes and then use a layered security approach at entry or transit points. If you have questions about your data security or are considering moving systems to the cloud or cloud-based applications, talk to your IT security professional or give us a call. We’d be happy to help you navigate through the options, pitfalls and choices to help keep your data protected and secure.

Cloud Computing for Attorneys – What’s the Verdict?

41537557 - illustration of a cloud icon with a justice weight scale sign

There’s no doubt you’ve heard about the benefits of cloud technology and how it can help you run a more efficient practice. It allows you and your team to work on-the-go on multiple devices – your information is easily accessible from home, the courthouse, your office, wherever you may be. It allows for seamless communication and collaboration among members of your staff, which leads to improved productivity. It’s cost-effective, eliminating the need for expensive servers and dedicated office space. Cloud capabilities can easily be expanded as your practice grows. With the undeniable benefits, why has your practice not moved to the cloud?

Could it be that just a cursory search of cloud options sent you straight down the rabbit’s hole? SaaS. IaaS. PaaS. Private cloud. Public cloud. Hybrid cloud. It’s mind-boggling and confusing. There are a lot of moving parts. And you’re busy. Besides, you didn’t hang out your shingle to become your firm’s computer whiz. You’ve got lawyering to do!

But the fact remains – we live in an age where business is performed and information is shared online. So, to compete in today’s market, you need to take a serious look at how cloud computing can help you grow your practice.

In layman’s terms, cloud computing is a service or software that is accessed through the Internet, rather than installed directly on your computer’s hard drive or on a server in your office. Your data is stored at the provider’s secure data center.

Chances are you’re familiar with public cloud applications such as Dropbox or Google Drive. But are these public cloud solutions right for a legal firm? Will your clients’ information be protected? Perhaps a private or hybrid cloud is a better option. How do you know? Who do you trust? Your seat at the Mad Hatter’s tea party is waiting!

Cloud computing is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. It takes a certified IT professional who understands the nuances of the legal field to help you navigate the complexities of cloud technology. This is definitely an area you should trust to an expert.

Security is perhaps the biggest hurdle attorneys face when considering moving to the cloud. You deal with a lot of confidential client information – more than the average business owner. So protecting that data (and your livelihood) deserves special consideration. Because the legal profession is one of the most highly regulated industries, a breach in security would not only damage your reputation, but it will most likely land you in front of the state bar’s ethics committee. Nobody wants that.

Aside from the confidentiality issue, you need to be sure your data is protected from destruction via system failure, or natural/manmade disaster. The good news is that a reputable provider already has advanced security measures in place to protect your files.

In fact, having your data stored at a remote location is arguably safer than your computer’s hard drive or your server. Cloud providers typically employ elaborate security measures and multiple backups in their data center.

So what’s the verdict? Are you ready to explore cloud options for your legal practice? We can help you determine if you’re ready for the cloud with our Cloud Readiness Assessment, where we will conduct a high-level evaluation of your firm’s network and provide you with the information you need to make an educated decision. To learn more about how our Greenlight Cloud solution can help support and grow your practice, please call (678)745-5109.

Win $40 in Treats and Toys for Your Pet!

Is your mutt marvelous? Is your feline fabulous? Would you like to shower your best friend with more than $40 in treats and toys? Then enter our Pet of the Month contest for your chance to win a basket full of goodies! Winners will receive a free basket of treats and toys, be featured in the next MIS Technology Times newsletter, and receive recognition on the MIS Solutions blog.

To enter, provide a photograph of your pet and answers to the following questions:finn

What is your pet’s name?

What breed is your pet?

How old is your pet?

How long have you had your pet?

Do you bring your pet to work?

What is his/her favorite toy or activity?

What is an interesting fact about your pet?

What is the BEST thing about your pet?

Do you have a funny or interesting story about your pet?

Email your answers and a picture of your furry friend to Carol at


Learn How 2 Minutes Equals FREE Bruster’s Ice Cream

BOG_Vote2016_300x250In less than two minutes, you can get free Bruster’s ice cream from Team MIS.  For the 10th year, we are participating in the Gwinnett Magazine sponsored Best of Gwinnett Voting contest.

If you believe Team MIS provides good IT service, will you please vote for us in four easy steps?

  1. Go to: or go to and search for MIS Solutions in the Vote for a Business section.
  2. Click on the blue Vote for Us! Icon below our company information.
  3. Complete the pop-up form with your name and email address.
  4. Click submit

After you vote, email Kary at with a subject of “I voted,” If it’s easier, call her at 678-730-5527.  We are not affiliated with Gwinnett Magazine in any way so you have to let us know you voted so Kary can mail you a Bruster’s gift card as our way of saying “Thank You.” 

Be one of the first 50 people to cast your vote before October 31, 2016 and get free Bruster’s ice cream.


MIS is really all about service. Lliam and I are servants at heart and we’ve successfully built MIS by attracting great clients and team members who value “serving others.” We’ve played in this voting contest for the last 9 years and it’s a fun way to validate that we are serving our clients well. Plus, we really love ice cream and would love to share some with you as a small token of our appreciation for playing with us.

If you need any help voting or have problems, call Kary at (678) 730-5527 or email her at Thank you for playing! – Jennifer

Who are the Unsung Heroes in Your Community?


We are proud to announce that MIS Solutions is sponsoring this years’ Home of Hope at Gwinnett Children’s Shelter’s annual Harvest of Hope luncheon where the Power of One award will be presented.

Nominations are now being accepted through October 31 for the Power of One award, which signifies the positive impact that one individual can have on the lives of others. “We wanted to recognize the work and sacrifice of individuals who are giving back in their communities through volunteer work, mentoring, outreach programs and other similar ways,” said Maureen Kornowa, executive director of Home of Hope at GCS. “We see the positive and lasting impression of caring people on a daily basis – people who selflessly give of their time and talents to help better the lives of our clients, and ultimately our community. There are thousands of people all over metro Atlanta who generously give back, and we want to honor those unsung heroes.”

Partnering with Home of Hope at GCS made perfect sense, according to Jennifer Holmes, president of MIS Solutions. “The Power of One Award represents the impact that one individual can have on the lives of others, and this is in line with MIS Solutions’ core values. Specifically, we strive to be servant leaders and are always looking to add value to others. We want to serve others and help grow leaders, not just within our own walls, but also within our clients’ organizations and our community.”

We encourage you to nominate a deserving individual who is making a difference in your community. Go to Nominees should be people who might not normally receive the recognition they deserve for their contributions. The Power of One nomination is a way for friends, co-workers, business partners, etc., of the nominee to recognize the efforts they display. Tickets to luncheon, which will be held at 6500 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth, Ga., are also available for purchase on the webpage. Proceeds of Harvest of Hope and the Power of One Award will benefit Home of Hope at GCS.

If you have any questions about this event, please call Carol at (678) 730-5509 or email her at



With new reports of security breaches and cyberattacks making headlines almost daily, business owners are beginning to understand the importance of secure passwords. Employees, however, are still choosing lame passwords – like 12345 or password – that could easily be cracked with a password cracking program. Those programs, by the way, know all the popular passwords and can crack up to 100 billion a second. Adding numbers to the end of your password – password123 – or using special characters – like the ones in the headline of this article – may not be enough to prevent a hack.

Nonetheless, it’s still a best practice to make it hard to guess your password. Think of it this way: your business is the castle, and a password is the key to that castle. It really doesn’t matter how strong the walls are if the bad guys can easily pick the lock and help themselves to your sensitive data. Here are some Dos and Don’ts in creating stronger passwords:

  1. Do make it as long as possible, preferably 14 characters or more. Be sure to use upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters.
  2. Don’t use personal information such as your name, birthday, pets’ or children’s names, your phone number, etc.
  3. Don’t use adjacent keys on a keyboard such as zxcvb or 12345.
  4. Do intentionally misspell words such as krazee or happi.
  5. Do consider making up a sentence such as “My third year of college was more fun than it should have been!” and using the first letter of each word to create the password – M3yocwmftishb!.
  6. Do change major passwords at least twice a year.

Of course, you could always consider using password management software to help you create, store and keep track of all your passwords. Just remember to create a password that’s easy to remember for the password manager itself. LastPass 4.0 and LogMeOnce Password Management Suite Premium have both gotten excellent reviews in PC magazine.

Considering Facebook Live Video for your business?

Using Facebook Live is brain-dead simple. If you haven’t already, install the Facebook app on your smartphone. Open it up, tap the red “Go Live” icon and you’re on. It tells you how many are fb livewatching, plus their names and comments. When you’re done, it saves to your Timeline. And, unlike Snapchat or Periscope, it doesn’t disappear after just 24 hours. You can share, embed, Tweet – or delete – to your heart’s content. And you can filter who sees it. As for content? Interview key employees, big shots in your niche or your customers. Share how you’re making a new product. Or how your team relaxes. Why do it? Your customers love getting that little peek “behind the scenes.” (Source

HoloLens: Your New Reality?

A game designer sees a moving 3-D image of a living, breathing, mace-wielding ogre – on her desk. She flicks a finger and he turns from side to side, giving

Lliam Holmes, CEO of MIS Solutions takes the new HoloLens for a spin

Lliam Holmes, CEO of MIS Solutions tries out the new HoloLens

her a full view of his outfit and weapons belt.

An architect looks up at the ceiling in a building he’s just designed. He waves his hand and reshapes it, allowing more light through. All virtually.

A space scientist designing a Mars rover strolls through the landscape, noting from all sides the position, shape and size of rocks his vehicle must navigate.

Now it’s your turn. Put on the new HoloLens by Microsoft, and what do you see? How could you use this cool new augmented reality (AR) tool in your business?

At $3,000 for the developer’s version, it may not be an impulse buy. But new AR tools like this will soon be part of your computing world.

Could One Tiny Leak Wipe Out Your Company?



Things were going great at Michael Daugherty’s up-and-coming $4 million medical-testing company.

He was a happy man. He ran a good business in a nice place. His Atlanta-based LabMD had about 30 employees and tested blood, urine and tissue samples for urologwater is coming out of a bucket with holesists. Life was good for this middle-aged businessman from Detroit.

Then, one Tuesday afternoon in May 2008, the phone call came that changed his life. His general manager came in to tell Daugherty about a call he’d just fielded from a man claiming to have nabbed a file full of LabMD patient documents. For a medical business that had to comply with strict federal rules on privacy, this was bad. Very bad.

It turned out that LabMD’s billing manager had been using LimeWire file-sharing software to download music. In the process, she’d unwittingly left her documents folder containing the medical records exposed to a public network. A hacker easily found and downloaded LabMD’s patient records. And now the fate of Michael’s life – and his business – were drastically altered.

What followed was a nightmarish downward spiral for LabMD. Not one to go down without a fight, Michael found himself mired in an escalating number of multiple lawsuits and legal battles with the Federal Trade Commission and other regulators investigating the leak.

Finally, in January 2014, exhausted and out of funds, his business cratering under constant pressure, he gave up the fight and shuttered his company.

One tiny leak that could have easily been prevented took his entire company down. Could this happen to you and your business? Let’s take a look at four fatal errors you MUST avoid, to make sure it never does:

  1. Have you developed a false sense of security? Please, please, please do NOT think you are immune to a cyber-attack simply because you are not a big company. The fact is, whether you have 12 clients, or 12,000 clients, your data has value to hackers. A simple client profile with name, address and phone number sells for as little as $1 on the black market. Yet add a few details, like credit card and Social Security numbers, and the price can skyrocket – $300 per record is not uncommon. Being small doesn’t mean you are immune.
  2. Are you skimping on security to save money? Sure, of course you have a tight budget… So you cut a deal with your marketing manager, who wants to work from home at times. He links into the company network with a VPN. If configured properly, your VPN creates a secure and encrypted tunnel into your network. So his device now links his home network into the company network. The problem is, his home cable modem may be vulnerable to attack, an all-too-common issue with consumer devices. Now you have an open tunnel for malware and viruses to attack your network.
  3. Could lack of an off-boarding process put your company at risk? It’s crucial to keep a record of user accounts for each employee with security privileges. When an employee leaves, you MUST remove those accounts without delay. An internal attack by a disgruntled worker could do serious harm to your business. Be sure to close this loop.
  4. Have you been lax about implementing security policies for desktop computers, mobile devices and the Internet? The greatest threat to your company’s data originates not in technology, but in human behavior. It starts before you boot up a single device. In an era of BYOD (bring your own device), for instance, lax behavior by anyone connecting to your network weakens its security. Your team love their smartphones, and with good reason. So it’s tough sticking with strict rules about BYOD. But without absolute adherence to a clear policy, you might as well sell your company’s secrets on eBay.

Don’t let a tiny leak sink your ship – here’s what to do next…

Let us run our complete Network Security Audit for you. We’ll send our top data security specialist to your location and give you a complete top-to-bottom security analysis with action plan. This is normally a $697 service. It’s yours FREE when you call now through the end of October.

Don’t wait until disaster strikes. Call (678) 745-5109 or email me at or click here to schedule your FREE Network Security Audit TODAY.

A Chat with Michael Oher – How He Broke the Cycle of Homelessness to Become an NFL Champion

By Jennifer Holmes

Success leaves clues whether it’s football, business or life.  As you may know, Lliam and I go to Nashville each quarter to an industry association conference to share best practices and learn from champions from different backgrounds and industries. So when we had the chance to chat with NFL champion Michael Oher – whose childhood was portrayed in the movie The Blind Side, and is now an offensive tackle for the Carolina Panthers –  we took notes and listened carefully.

Michael grew up homeless most of his childhood in Memphis, Tenn. He saw the constant pattern of drugs, violence and homelessness and was determined to break that cycle for himself.  He did that by staying positive and working to go to school and playing football.

Michael was a great speaker and what struck me most was his absolute humility and gentleness.  He spoke softly and kindly as a gentle giant.  When asked about his experience winning the 2013 Super Bowl XLVII, he said smiling excitedly ear-to-ear, “It was the Super Bowl!” In fact, he said, “Every time I walk on a football field in the NFL, I pinch myself. It’s such an honor to be on an NFL field and get to play.”  Michael was asked to share his playbook or keys to becoming so successful. In his words:

Technique is important. Everyone on that field is talented and experienced so one of the ways I focus is technique.  I’m always working on drills and the fundamentals to ensure that my techniques are the best they can be – so that I can stay sharp.

Outwork the competition. Again, everybody that we are competing with is highly skilled and talented so the way to get the edge is to focus on hard work and practice every single day.  You have to want it and work hard for it each and every day.  I practice constantly because I know outworking or outperforming the competition is one edge I have. If I don’t outwork the competition, I could be blindsided.

Be humble. I’m playing with some of the most gifted people on the field so one key for me is to be humble and realize there is always someone at my back and on my heels trying to catch up and overtake me.  I never, ever forget that – there is always someone behind me trying to catch up so I believe recognizing that and staying humble is important.  And I’m always competing against myself to make a better me – I never stop.

In closing remarks, we asked Michael why he thought he was one of the ones that made it out of the cycle and what his purpose was.  Michael said he got very lucky and he feels his mission is to inspire others by sharing his story to have hope that they too can break cycles of homelessness, drugs and poverty.  He likes to think that his journey and commitment to hard work can be an example to others of how they, too, can become champions and successful in their lives. Michael generously donates his time and resources to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to inspire others and share his story. In fact, the speaker fee for this conference was $50,000 and Michael asked that his entire fee be donated to St. Jude.

What a fine gentlemen, servant-leader and champion he is. It was truly inspiring and an honor to hear his story and experience his passion for inspiring others.