Protecting your developmental disabilities organization’s network and data is an ongoing and evolving process that requires you to be proactive and constantly vigilant. This is not only necessary for the purpose of protecting your clients’ confidential health information, but to pass a compliance audit.

A technology assessment from GO Concepts evaluates your developmental disabilities organization’s adherence to IT regulatory guidelines. We’ll evaluate the thoroughness and strength of your technology security solutions, policies, and procedures so you’ll pass a compliance audit conducted by regulators in Ohio.

How Do We Prepare Your Technology For a Compliance Audit?

When regulators perform a compliance audit, they are provided specific guidelines and instructions on the aspects they should look for. One aspect is the security of your IT infrastructure and procedures. Our staff will determine if your technology is secure and will pass their inspections.

Unfortunately, many developmental disabilities organizations don’t know that their information technology security is inadequate until after a breach occurs. We’ll conduct a thorough assessment of your IT infrastructure and procedures to evaluate your information security and protection strategies, and to determine if you need to improve your level of protection.

What’s Involved In Our Assessment?

It’s a thorough examination and evaluation of your information technology infrastructure, operations, and policies. We’ll determine whether you have the proper IT controls in place to protect your confidential data at all times.

We’ve been through many compliance audits both internally and for our clients, so we know and understand what to look for. We actually utilize some of the same tools used by compliance auditors to scan and evaluate your network, which allows us to discover issues and resolve them before they run their scans. And while we do not evaluate your policies and procedures, as that is a function left to auditors, we assist you in developing them and make recommendations as we work with you to implement best practices for your entire information technology infrastructure.

Information technology assessments evaluate your organization’s entire data security program. They consider both solutions and strategies that could improve your security posture. It will include a risk assessment to determine if your IT infrastructure is vulnerable to security breaches like:

  • Unauthorized access
  • Data breaches
  • Computer viruses and malware
  • Email hacking and spamming
  • Accidental deletions and human error

These Are Some Examples Of What We’ll Assess:

Business Continuity

  • Do you have a proper business continuity and disaster preparedness plan in place?

Mobile Device Management

  • Are your mobile devices monitored and protected from security breaches and data loss?

The Cloud

  • How is your data handled and stored in the Cloud?
  • Is there any legal or regulatory risk in how your information is handled in the Cloud?
  • Has an impact assessment been conducted for the services you move to the Cloud?
  • Does your organization have proper security protocols and policies for users working in the Cloud?
  • Have the right safeguards been contractually established with your Cloud service provider?

Organizational Needs

  • Is technology aligned with your mission?
  • Are you using technology in a cost-effective way?
  • Are the right IT processes being used so your staff can work productively?
  • Do you use technology in a way that delivers projects on time and within budget?
  • Are IT assets and software contracts being managed and monitored effectively?

Sensitive/Confidential Data

  • What sensitive data does your organization retain?
  • Where do you use and store confidential data?
  • How do you transmit confidential data?
  • Where do you send it?

IT Security

  • How comprehensive is your existing IT security program?
  • Is it set up to mitigate threats?
  • How comprehensive is your existing Threat, Management, & Vulnerability (TMV) program?
  • Are processes in place to ensure the issues you identify are adequately addressed and remediated?
  • Are you providing security awareness training for your employees?
  • Do you have risk assessments performed regularly to identify all IT risks?
  • Are your business associates HIPAA Compliant?

Why It’s Essential That You Are Always Prepared For A Compliance Audit

Protecting information technology is critical for developmental disability organizations in Ohio. Failing a compliance audit shows that the security protocols you use are lacking and need to be immediately addressed. Having security gaps and vulnerabilities in your IT system could lead to a variety of costly consequences. They could even end up shutting down your organization.

As you know, you must comply with stringent security requirements. If you fail your compliance audit, or your IT system is found lacking the security required, the regulators will most likely flag your organization for more detailed inspections later.

Plus, what if your ePHI was breached? The penalties resulting from data breaches along with the enormous costs of issuing breach notifications and conducting damage mitigation makes investing in a security assessment extraordinarily cost-effective.

Most importantly, while a compliance audit may be a one-time occurrence, protecting your network and confidential data is an ongoing and evolving process that requires you to be proactive and continuously vigilant. The time to prepare for a compliance audit is not just before you know one is going to occur. Best practices dictate, you should always be preparing for audits as part of your regular operations. It is a commitment of time and resources to do what is required, but it is about being prepared and the results are better protection for your network and data. If you really want to be prepared and do what is best for your organization, you should regularly be doing your own security audits and not just waiting for an audit from the State of Ohio. And preferably, it should be done with and by an independent third-party auditor.

There’s much more to learn and know. But when armed with answers to the right questions, and by leveraging best practices in the use of secure information technology, your developmental disabilities organization will be able to pass your compliance audit with flying colors.

GO Concepts is skilled at working with County Boards of developmental disabilities and related organizations in Ohio. Whether working with your existing IT staff or as your IT Department, we provide the additional manpower, knowledge, and experience you need to achieve your mission in a cost-effective way. Plus, we are HIPAA compliant, so as your business associate, you won’t need to worry about this. And like we say… with GO Concepts, you “Don’t worry about IT.

For help preparing your information technology for a compliance audit, contact the team at GO Concepts.