Tag Archives: all-in-one PC

Medical Device End of Life Cycle

3 Ways to Extend the Life of Legacy Medical Devices

Legacy technology is defined as technology which is no longer produced (or in many cases even supported), but which still functions and can be used. The medical industry is filled with legacy technology, and while it eventually becomes necessary to sundown a given piece of medical tech – retiring it from use and buying a new piece of equipment to put in its place – prudent administrators won’t do so as long as the device continues to work and provide reliable patient care.

Medical computers make an excellent means of getting the most value out of legacy technology: overcoming some of the challenges and difficulties they embody, and ensuring that they can do their jobs as long as possible. The right computer can address the specific problems created by legacy technology, allowing your organization to continue to use it with modern medical grade PCs and similar upgraded equipment. Here’s a quick list of some of the things to look for.

Legacy Ports Keep Older Systems Up to Date

Older technology often uses obsolete ports to connect to other components, such as RS-232 ports. RS stands for “recommended standard,” and the ports themselves entailed rows of pins inserted into fitted holes to make a connection. They were in place on electronic devices starting in 1960, and remained a staple in various configurations for many years, but advancing technology gradually phased them out. USB ports, which are standard on many modern pieces of equipment, are easier to use, provide faster connections and use much less power.

That can cause a problem with legacy devices that still depend on RS-232 to interface with a computer or a printer. It sounds like a comparatively minor problem, but if it can’t be resolved, it may force the organization to replace the device simply to provide interoperability with a modern medical computer… even if the device in question still works just fine from every other perspective.

A modern medical PC with customizable ports can solve that problem quite easily. An RS-232 port (or similarly outdated connection) can be included through an expansion slot for use with a piece of legacy medical equipment, allowing for swift integration and ease of access without having to replace the whole system.

Secure Computers Can Reduce the Security Risks of Legacy Devices

Legacy devices can present unique security concerns in our era of cybernetic intrusion. Data from a medical network can fetch a high price on the black market – even more than credit card numbers – and incidents such as the LabCorp data breach earlier this year are only growing in numbers. A recent report from HealthCare IT news estimated that more than 3 million patient records in the United States were breached between April and June of 2018, and that number is only likely to grow in the future.

On May 31, the American Hospital Association issued a warning to Congress, stating that legacy medical devices are “a key vulnerability for hospitals and health systems.” Many of them were built before such threats were serious, and even those built in the digital age are vulnerable. (Development time from concept to market often takes years, and security measures put into place may become obsolete before the device even hits the market.)

The warning urges hospitals and medical providers to provide their own answers to the problem, rather than waiting for guidance from the government. Yet it also notes that replacing such devices en masse simply isn’t practical for most medical organizations, given the costs involved.

A modern medical all-in-one computer can make a cost-effective solution to the problem and help keep legacy devices protected with updated security measures. Imprivata single sign-on, for instance, uses RFID readers or fingerprint scanners to ensure that only qualified personnel can access the system. Multiple LAN ports allow IT personnel to connect devices to both the internet and an intranet, which allows older devices to communicate with one another without being connected to the outside world. These are just some of the ways that medical grade computers can help secure legacy devices and extend their lifespan.

Multi-Use Devices

Few medical organizations replace or update their computer systems all at once. Instead, it’s usually a piecemeal process delivered in stages, with a few units being replaced at a time. The AHA estimates that many hospitals can only afford to replace about 10 percent of their devices in a given year, and indeed, this “stagger” is one of the reasons why legacy devices continue to be used.

That can create significant problems with a device that can’t properly integrate with the remainder of a medical organization’s network. For example, say a hospital uses a legacy x-ray machine whose DICOM files can’t be read by the most modern computers. If the images generated by that machine are needed on short notice – say, in an operating room – the lack of flexibility can create a huge delay.

All-in-one computers with upgradable options make an elegant “bridge” solution to such issues by interfacing with legacy devices while serving as a connection for newer systems. To take the above example, an all-in-one PC might have the ability to read the x-ray images from the legacy device, convert them into an easily readable format and forward them to a new medical monitor much more quickly and effectively. In so doing, it allows the x-ray machine to continue functioning: letting the hospital get the maximum use from the investment and delaying the day when the machine needs to be replaced.

 

Cybernet Manufacturing produces a high-end line of medical computers that can be customized to work with a wide variety of legacy devices. Contact our team today to learn more.

tough tablets

3 Problems in Customer Service Solvable by Technology

The tech landscape has changed for the better in business. Places as common as grocery stores, bars, pizza parlors, online ordering warehouses, you name it—the computer is there, improving the business operations on a customer-by-customer basis. The newest technological craze on the horizon to improve the customer experience for online ordering is the use of the shipping drone. Automation efforts within warehouse shipping are pushing towards eventual shipping via individual drones that drop packages off at the doorstep of customers. Interested businesses in this cutting-edge technology are quoting waiting times of less than 30 minutes from product order to delivery!

We’re far off from seeing a full implementation of such technologies across the nation, but one aspect of a business that is never overlooked and that people cherish in any setting is customer service. The full umbrella of customer service can include customer experience, product pricing, waiting times for product delivery, and other factors, but the computer is there now to facilitate lengthy and error-prone processes that can influence the overall experience. Here are three ways technology solves problems many of us are familiar with when it comes to the umbrella of customer service.

Better Lead Times, Shorter Wait Times with Industrial PCs

Lead time can be considered a part of customer service, or perhaps “a service to the customer” since it’s a factor in the overall experience. It’s not the most interesting of business-related topics, but it’s one of the most desired metrics to shrink for both businesses and customers. Simply put, if a customer waits too long for delivery of an item, it’s not likely they’ll purchase from the same outlet. It’s an aspect of customer service in the whole of the corporation that is always a pain point for customers. Who likes to wait?

Lead times have been decreasing with the use of the industrial PC. Industrial computers running ERP software can track and monitor inventory levels. They can be used to predict seasonal shifts in order volume. A manufacturer can even use an HMI panel to monitor performance and maintenance schedules of individual equipment, reducing and eliminating stoppages in production. All of which adds up to short lead times. The shorter the lead time the more likely that first time customer will become a long term client.

I Didn’t Order This…

As soon as an order has been received there is a process in place to get that order to the customer as quickly as possible. An itemized invoice is printed that is handed off to a picker, who then goes through the warehouse to find the items. They are double checked, prepared for shipping and sent. But in that paper process, mistakes happen. Humans are only human after all. Send the wrong item to a customer not only adds up in costly returns at your expense, but could also lead to lost business.

Industrial tablets can help to automate this process and improve accuracy. Invoices can be stored on the tablet. With SKUs assigned to barcodes, a picker can use a tablet’s integrated barcode scanner to check items before pulling them from inventory. You can even assign different barcodes based on clothing sizes or item colors to ensure accuracy. Pick lists can even be sorted based on the most efficient path through the warehouse, meaning more orders can be processed in the same amount of time using the same amount of resources. Again, automating processes leads to more accurate orders and faster processing times, which lead to happier customers.

The Dreaded Phone Calls

Even with automation, mistakes will happen. No business is 100% perfect. When mistakes happen, customers will call in. Even in an automated shipping warehouse there needs to be the human touch to fill in the gaps sophisticated tech might leave behind. However, it’s best to be prepared with the right kind of computer to identify what went wrong in order processing.

If a company’s employees use all in one computers for their customer service department, there’s a vast set of advantages. First, these computers are manufactured with space-saving designs in mind so even in small offices where the majority of space is reserved for products, IT departments won’t need to go to the extensive trouble of planning how all computer stations might be configured. Second, they’re perfect for recording conference and customer calls for the best customer service experiences. Paired with telecommunications software, every call can be screened, addressed, and filed away for case study purposes. Finally, any customer service rep can use the computer to see where an order is in the full spectrum of the process, from order to customer satisfaction on delivery. These all in one computers have nifty touchscreen capabilities too, so it’ll add to the overall productivity of a customer service office. Plus, with their enclosed designs and higher-grade components, they’ll last a lot longer than the average computer.

They say that a customer who has had a bad experience is likely to tell 10 people about it, whereas a customer who has had a good experience is only likely to tell one or two people. Those aren’t the kind of odds worth testing. For more information on how to automate your processes you can contact us here.

space saving computers help the enterprise market

4 Reasons Why All-in-One Space Saving Computers are Best for the Enterprise Setting

The enterprise setting is not easily defined; multiple dictionaries define the enterprise as merely a business organization, a particular project, a systematic, purposeful activity, or other generic definitions. That doesn’t define how an enterprise functions. It may function as a handful of employees in a small office, or perhaps a few thousand employees in a tower block setting. Regardless, an enterprise will always need to function under certain constraints, and computer arrangement must fit within those constraints. Sometimes an enterprise must use all in one PCs for a variety of reasons. Here’s four examples of what we mean when we claim these space saving computers are best for the enterprise setting.

Space Saving Computers Get Rid of the Rat’s Nests

When a series of computers are deployed in an enterprise setting, IT professionals must use careful consideration of all the peripherals and devices a system might be integrated with. Think of all the cables one computer might need—a desktop computer needs main power, monitor connectivity and power, an ethernet cable out to a router, a USB keyboard, USB mouse, speaker power and connectivity, and other connections. Gather a series of computers in this fashion, and suddenly the cable management task turns into a fiasco! If eight computers are deployed into a small office or cubicle environment, how will these cables be routed? Are there safety concerns? The more wires an IT team has to consider in computer deployment, the longer it may take to get to full production status—which means more money. Time and money constraints, especially early in setting up an enterprise, are crucial factors for a business whether the business is migrating to a new office or setting up initial infrastructure.

A huge benefit to all in one PCs is that they have minimal wires. Typically these computers are bundled with wireless mice and keyboards, so the “rat’s nest” factor is a small concern. Wireless network cards are often built-in as well, so instead of planning out an ethernet connectivity setup, the all in one PCs can connect directly to a wireless router to reduce cable management efforts. At the very least, a space saving computer needs just one cable—for power!

Space Saving Computers Help with Hardware Needs

If an IT team purchases a series of desktop computers, does that fit the intended use? It’s a no-brainer all computers need monitors, and all in one PCs have that necessity taken care of. A conference computer might need a webcam to hold weekly meetings with different offices. Perhaps all computers will need webcams to hold online conferences to discuss key business points—and so which webcam does a business acquire, and for how many computers? Perhaps a particular webcam won’t work with a certain model computer, easily complicating implementation. To add, sometimes desks aren’t suitable for specific work areas, necessitating a different approach to implementing a computer. So how does one solve all these problems?

Cybernet’s all in one PCs are uniform in design, so corporations can deploy them with ease. Not enough desk space for a computer? Mount the space saving computer on a VESA mount and use the touch screen capability! Need to move a computer with a webcam to a different workstation? All enterprise computers are equipped with webcams. All in one PCs take care of the guesswork of which computers might need what peripherals, providing a solution in a complete package.

Ease of Project Deployment and Imaging

Will all computers be running engineering software? If that’s the case, it’s best to order a series of all in one PCs as a deployment project to ensure everyone has identical hardware and software. Migrating old computers with a group of newly deployed computers could turn into a compatibility nightmare—we shudder at mixing Windows XP with Windows 10, or a PC with an Apple computer. Ensuring identical hardware and software will reduce compatibility problems, increase office synergy, and ensure fewer problems for IT to handle down the road. Plus, one computer can be configured a specific way to operate for business use and that configuration can be “cloned” to install on all remaining machines, saving IT more time and money. Consider a small office—30 people—each with their own computer. Every crucial component in that small office has a risk of breaking down and halting production for at least one employee. Purchasing a series of identical all in one PCs is the pathway to getting an individual employee up and running quickly. With drive imaging, the space saving computer can be immediately replaced, turning downtime into virtually no time and getting employees back to work. Also, with the built-in battery that some models carry, employees can save their work in the event of a power failure.

Space Saving Computers Have a Wider Market

IT professionals often shop for computers that fit specific jobs—worsening the compatibility aspect. What’s more is some desktop computers can cost thousands more than basic desktops based on the individual needs of employees. At Cybernet, each space saving computer has a wider range of capability than their desktop brethren; an engineer can benefit from using a space saving computer just as much as a graphic designer can. The touch screen technology can be used as a designer’s drawing space or an industrial worker’s touch panel PC, combining two marketable applications into one PC solution. A space saving computer can be connected to a large television and turned into a conference room PC, complete with webcam and a wireless keyboard and mouse set. Cybernet’s all in one PCs fit more specific jobs because of their increased functionality and capability across markets.

The versatility of Cybernet’s all in one PCs, like the iOne H24, make them perfect for an enterprise setting by reducing clutter, easing deployment if a technical problem arises, broadening the applicable market for each workstation, and increasing office synergy by ensuring compatibility between stations.

For Medical Device Manufacturers, Compliance Can Hinge on your Technology Partner

There are constant revisions to compliance in the medical field; Wikipedia cites that the FDA recently released several regulations to medical devices and how they handle sensitive patient data. Cleanliness, compatibility, safety, and cyber-security standards are ever-changing. It can be maddening to stay aware of all regulations to FDA compliance, which is why medical device manufacturers should be wise in selecting who they pair with when it comes to technology. The wrong machinery in the hospital can cost time, money, or worse—lives. That’s why it’s crucial to find the proper hardware to support medical devices—such as medical grade computers that meet or exceed the required standards. Here’s a rundown of the standards in question most pertinent to Cybernet.

International Electrotechnical Commission Standard 60601-1

The 60601-1 standard is set by the IEC to enforce safety rules when it comes to electrical equipment around patients. There’s always a question of what comes in contact with a patient and what said apparatus might do—consider radiation effects of an X-ray machine on a patient. Effects concerning safety, health, and other factors, not just of patients but for medical professionals too. These standards protect against fire, radiation, mechanical impact, electrical shock, and excessive electrical energy output.

All medical grade monitors from Cybernet meet this standard, and every hardware development cycle includes the certifications within the deployment timeline. The result is a more cost effective product for clients at the sacrifice of an internal long-term development cycle—three to five years. Project certification approval for some manufacturers can take several months, but at high costs to the client. We literally take the time and effort to have our medical PCs independently certified so it costs the client less. Once a given line of products is approved, clients can purchase computers to fit their project needs without waiting for approval.

Ingress Protection Ratings and Why they Matter

For medical device manufacturers, the choice should be clear; partner with a company that produces tech that can protect itself. Ingress protection is another compliance standard that should be met in the medical space when medical device manufacturers are looking for proper technology. There are two factors to IP—foreign objects and water, numerically denoted. The first digit suggests tools, body parts, dust, etc. Every medical computer that Cybernet manufactures is rated a 6 on the front bezel, which is dust resistant. Dust is a huge impairment for any kind of electronic component and a potential health hazard for patients.

The second digit addresses water. Lower numbers address moisture and condensation, while higher numbers address streams of water and even immersion. Cybernet’s medical devices are usually rated at a 5 for water ingress, meaning the front bezel of our machines are protected against projected water. We even have a video demonstration of how resilient they are against splash damage. These standards are a must-have for the medical space.

The FDA Regulation Cycle and Compliance with Medical Device Manufacturers

All devices made by medical device manufacturers are subject for review by the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. Devices that do not pass the FDA’s standards can become extreme health hazards for patients—imagine what a malfunctioning pacemaker could do! If a device falls outside of FDA regulations, the process to have the device approved or cleared by the FDA must begin again. The same mentality must be held when questioning what kind of medical monitoring system hospitals need to utilize. Cybernet’s advantage is that all products within a project are kept the exact same—that means if a medical tablet wears down or malfunctions within it’s expected lifespan, the replacement device is already approved for use and goes into real-world application without fuss over more regulations. That ensures patient care is still the primary focus without squabble over technology or time wasted.

Medical device manufacturers are at the whim of the FDA, but regulations and compliance standards shouldn’t stop there. The whole solution lies in pairing medical devices with EMR computers that are ready to be deployed when the need arises. Our medical grade monitors meet the ever-changing compliance rules and regulations set by the FDA, the IEC, and other governing bodies.

Benefits of Power-over-Ethernet Computers in Healthcare Settings

A typical healthcare environment is a complex system of devices, networks and people working in-sync, but modern hospitals are increasingly pressed to find cost-saving solutions. Energy efficiency is one of the focal points in health care budgeting.  Reducing energy consumption is a priority, but so is digitization and patient satisfaction. The latter two are direct contributors to regulatory compliance and reimbursement. One of the technologies that help hospitals address the issue of adopting high performance, modern IT solutions, digitize and cut costs and energy use at the same time is Power over Ethernet.

Power over Ethernet, PoE, is a set of networking standards. It enables a four-wire Ethernet network cabling to provide electrical power and data to a device. IP phones, IP surveillance cameras, and Wi-Fi access points are widespread applications of PoE.

Energy Efficiency

One of the key benefits of PoE-enabled computers is the long-term cost saving effect they have on the power consumption. A typical All-in-One PC that is frequently found in POC wall-mount kiosks in hospitals consumes 65+ watts. A PoE-enabled computer consumes less than 30 watts. That is 50% less than a standard AIO machine. When you calculate the savings an entire facility can generate, the advantage becomes apparent.

More to the point of energy efficiency, PoE-enabled computers are turned off completely when they are off, i.e. no adapters or switches remain powered on, passively consuming energy when the device is not in use.

Installation & Scalability

PoE, unlike USB or Firewire, allows much longer cable lengths. If USB or Firewire allow up to 5 meters/15 feet, PoE supports up to 100 meters or ~300 feet cable length. The advantage here is the ability to mount a PoE-enabled device in places where conventionally-powered devices can’t fit due to cable length restrictions, or where electric outlets are hard to reach or add.

Depending on the Ethernet cabling, PoE can support a higher wattage of up to 25.5 watts per device, allowing the devices to meet their power requirements.

Introducing new equipment is expensive and time-consuming due to how challenging it can be to adjust the existing architecture. Scalability of PoE systems is much greater than that of the conventional systems and allows for a simpler and more effective installation and distribution of network connections on the network.

It is cheaper and simpler to deploy Ethernet cable data points than to mount additional AC outlets, as a typical electrical installation of a single device is $200-$750 on average.

There is less need for additional circuit breakers, transient, harmonics and surge filters and maintenance for Power-over-Ethernet devices. There is a variety of manufacturers of network switches with PoE+ support, so local network administrators can handle the installation, add mid-span injectors between a non-PoE switch and PoE network devices. The majority of managed PoE injectors and switches allow the admin to monitor power consumption or recycle it to individual ports.

Flexibility

Flexibility and ergonomics are critical for many settings. PoE-enabled computers are not tethered to an electrical outlet, so can be located where they are needed most. Relocating a PoE-enabled computer is equally easy.

Standardization

Standardization is another benefit of PoE. Since PoE is standards-based, interoperability across brands is guaranteed. Another aspect of standardization is consolidating the fleet of devices on a standard network. This is equally important for hospitals and industrial environments alike when a single, secure network infrastructure facilitates deployment, maintenance, and control of a large fleet of devices. This enables greater reliability, manageability and translates into seamless collaboration and improved quality of service across a facility.

Reliability

PoE-enabled computers provide greater reliability, as power and data come from a central, universally-compatible source instead of being dependent on a mix of distributed wall adapters. Such systems enable seamless device control, so when the need arises you can reset or disable a device remotely.

Safety and Uptime

Safety of PoE computers is another key advantage, as PoE delivery is intelligent and protects the network equipment from incorrect installation, under powering or overload. Such systems are backed-up by an uninterruptible power supply, which means your computers are up and running 24/7, irrespective of the power outages. A single, central UPS eliminates the need for an individual UPS per each device so that the fleet of devices remains operational.

Data Protection

Security and privacy of EHR systems are a serious consideration. Protecting EHRs from unauthorized access is an important part of HIPAA compliance for hospitals. Again, PoE computers have an advantage, as they have a network switch controlled remotely. Since there is only one power input source, PoE computers can be turned on only if the network permissions are correct. The administrator can turn on or shut down individual computers or systems remotely via Wan or LAN, adding another layer of protection, and preventing unauthorized access.

PoE computers that come with an integrated barcode scanner, RFID reader, biometric reader, CAC or Smart Card reader make use of advanced authentication methods that restrict the access to confidential information to authorized personnel only.

More so, the network can be configured to monitor and record where and when PoE computers are used. A detailed log of device usage creates a wealth of actionable data that can be used to boost security.

The optimal PoE computer is Windows-based, though, because Win OS offers the most of what modern-day encryption and privacy filter technologies can provide. It is highly recommended to encrypt the data end-to-end, at rest and in transit, in the cloud and locally, as well as on external carriers.

Performance Requirements

Power-over-Ethernet computers operating in healthcare facilities must provide high performance, HD video, and a powerful graphics processing card. EHR systems are demanding, so the machines must be powerful enough to run them beside the patient infotainment systems.

Ergonomics matters. Compact size, minimum footprint and wire clutter, flexible mounting options must be backed by an all-in-one build that incorporates all discreet parts of high quality and 24/7 reliability for 5+ years. Thus, the components must be MIL-STD certified. The collateral effect of a minimized wiring and MIL-STD certifications is the increased patient safety, as there are no wires to trip over, and electrical or radiation hazards are addressed.

In order to address the issue of nosocomial infections and make PoE computers suitable for near-patient use, these computers must have an antimicrobial casing, easy to disinfect (do not confuse with simple cleaning).

With all considerations addressed, a PoE computer becomes a cost-effective enabler of modern hospitals’ transition to digitization, EHRs, greater patient satisfaction, safety, security and compliance. Significant installation, deployment, maintenance and energy savings paired with a low failure rate of less that 2% make the TCO of a Power over Ethernet medical PC a deal breaker.

The Need for Small Form Factor PCs in Industrial Plants and Factories

While large scale PCs may be the perfect choice for a number of industries, this is not always the case. In certain industrial plants, factories, and warehouses, the standard desktop and in many cases a standard laptop computer is simply too big to be functional. These systems are not designed to be used in such harsh conditions.

In many situations, a small form factor PC such as a tablet or all-in-one PC such as those offered by Cybernet make a better choice. These PCs can be designed to work in areas where dirt, vibration, and rough use are commonplace because they offer fewer service interruptions, longer lifespans, and improved productivity.

What Is a Small Form Factor PC?

There are several types of small form factor PC, including the netbook, small laptops, all-in-one PCs, and tablets. Each of these has their uses and can be put into action in a variety of environments. Small form factor PCs are lightweight and thanks to a built in battery pack are completely portable and self-sufficient.  This makes them ideal for carrying around the office, the production floor, and from one area to another. Each of our units is designed to be waterproof and shock resistant to ensure maximum lifespan and usability.  Depending on the application, we can supply you with a tablet or PC with a barcode and/or smart card reader, a RFID scanner, and a BioMed scanner.

Advantages of a Small Form Factor PC

Of all the advantages of integrating small form factor PCs into your system, size and portability are probably among the most important. Your employees need a PC that can be moved around the job site, not one that they have to keep running back to every time they need to enter data or check the logs. A tablet can be carried around like a clipboard and used freestanding, while sitting down, or at a desk or workstation with equal success.

The tradition desktop PC requires a desk or workstation along with a power source to be functional. Most are not designed to be used in a manufacturing environment as they have not been sealed to protect them from the environment. Thus, if your factory or industrial facility creates an excess amount of dust and dirt or there is the risk of exposure to water or any other type of liquid, a standard PC is not a viable option. The small form factor PC is designed to meet standards to those used by the military with regard to how rugged they are.

Military Grade Materials

Cybernet’s Fanless Rugged Mini PCs are made of military-grade materials, which makes them shock and vibration proof. They are sealed to lock out water and moisture and are rated to withstand heat up to 70 degrees Celsius or 158 degrees Fahrenheit. Cybernet offers a range of fully customizable small form factor PCs. This makes it much easier for you to find the perfect unit to match the right unit with your company’s needs and the environment in which they will be working in.

The net result of purchasing ruggedized small form factor PCs from Cybernet for your business is increased production, less downtime, and most importantly, a major reduction in the amount of capital that is typically spent each year maintaining your IT infrastructure and in production losses.

Our systems are designed to perform flawlessly in a number of industries, including petrochemical, gas, oil, and many others. They are designed to integrate flawlessly into your current IT infrastructure where they will go to work immediately reducing your overhead costs and helping to increase productivity.

5 Ways Small Businesses Can Improve the Security of Their Point-of-Sale Systems

Many small businesses such as restaurants, bars, or even retailers, use Point-of-Sale (POS) systems to make the process of receiving payments from customers easier. Complete POS systems may include a computer along with a monitor, a cash drawer, a receipt printer, a credit card reader, and a mouse and a keyboard. They tend to be relatively expensive (cost a few thousand dollars on average) and if you, as a small business owner, decide to invest in a POS system, you should be prepared that these devices are often targeted by hackers who attempt to steal credit card information.

The number of cybercrimes committed every year is quite alarming. One of the major POS system security breaches occurred in late 2011. Romanian hackers compromised more than 146,000 credit cards and stole almost $10 million. Hundreds of POS systems were accessed illegally in the process. Here are 5 ways small businesses can protect themselves and their customers from cyberattacks.

Never Use Default Passwords

A significant portion of POS systems use the passwords that were assigned to them in the factory. Retailers have no incentive to change the passwords and the end customers (i.e. small business owners) usually have no idea about the possibility of the POS system getting hacked into. The simplest way a hacker can get access to the data stored on a POS system is to try the original, factory-set password and chances are he/she will be right. For this reason, it is highly recommended to change the password after purchasing the device.

Evaluate Your Risks

There is something called Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) protocols. These protocols set requirements to help organizations increase their security and develop formal processes designed to identify vulnerabilities that might reduce card holder data security. By following these requirements companies can evaluate the risk of being hacked and determine which controls can help their businesses be protected. This is not a one-time action. Risk assessment should be an ongoing process, so that if any threat emerges, it can be responded to by taking preventive measures. You should also keep in mind that risk assessment is only a part of all the applicable PCI DSS requirements.

Know Who You Are Dealing With

This could be the most important tip of all. To fully understand cyber criminality and the possibility of yours or your customers’ data being stolen, you should educate yourself in this area. By educating yourself in this field you will no longer be tempted to underestimate the potential consequences data theft could mean to you and your business. Often times criminals are former employees of the particular restaurant or bar that he/she targets. At the end of the day, it is much more comfortable and safe for the hacker to steal the confidential data from a far distance. There is no need for him/her to hold up a cash register at gunpoint anymore. The POS system can be accessed from anywhere in the world and data can be stolen via electronic means with little to no footprints left behind.

Do Business with Trained Resellers

If you are purchasing your POS system from a retailer and not the original manufacturer, you should see to it that the retailer has been trained under the Qualified Integrators and Resellers (QIR) program. This program was put in place by the PCI Council and its purpose is to increase POS security. Professionals and IT experts working in the retail organizations can now receive this training. It is designed to educate them about how Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS) applications can be installed securely. By following the methodology taught in the training, companies can make sure they comply with the PCI DSS standards. If you work with a trained individual, he/she will help you to install and maintain the payment applications you are going to be using. You can read more about these applications below.

Use a Reliable All-in-One PC

Small businesses can now protect their customers’ data by complying with the PCI DSS standards. PA-DSS apps can be installed on a number of devices, including tablets and PCs. This PA-DSS validation has to be correctly configured and maintained for it to work as it is supposed to be working. Otherwise it will not provide much benefit at all. Other apps such as ID verification apps can be installed on the PCs or tablets, as well, for increased security.

Conclusion

POS systems are among the most frequent targets of hackers trying to profit from their criminal activities. Since these devices are usually connected to the internet, they can be accessed from anywhere in the world by a capable hacker. This problem is not likely to go away any time soon and for this reason, you’d best be prepared.

How to Develop a Workflow for New Medical Technology

When your healthcare setting is used to working in its old ways, it can be a daunting experience trying to plan out a new addition to the workflow. New technological advances and improvements have brought out new medical equipment that can help save you space, time and money; and, most importantly, improve care practices.

Adding a new medical computer or tablet to your system doesn’t have to be difficult. If you’re considering implementing a piece of medical technology, there are ways you can put together a workflow to accommodate it.

The key to whether it is successful, or not, is pre-planning and mapping out the specific role the new device will have in terms of day to day activities. Since the device will be attached to a cart, the flexibility it offers is vast, providing more opportunities to ensure accurate and efficient patient care.

Learn How to Use It

The most important step is to learn how to use the new tablet or computer on the medical cart. You should plan a staff meeting or workshop prior to implementing it. Have all personnel that will be using it attend this meeting. Discuss the way the equipment will impact the day-to-day activities and provide educational instructions on proper usage.

Windows Tablet – These are small and portable. They may have additional functions like scanning barcodes on wristbands or prescriptions. It may come with a stylus pen that could take getting used to. You may even want to use a front or rear-facing camera. Tablets are used on the go and may require practice for those that have never used them before. When mounted to a cart they offer ultimate flexibility and versatility for a medical practice.

All-in-One PC + Medical Cart – These are used as medication carts, part of a nurse’s station or for administration to get information, like health insurance, from the patient. These carts allow the computer and keyboard to attach and move around with ease. If your healthcare setting has never used a medical cart before, this would be one to bring up and introduce as a new addition.

Once staff members are comfortable with the new addition, it is crucial to explain the role it will play in day-to-day activities.

The Role of the Device

The most important question to ask is how the new computer will be used. Implement a strategy of how the new device will impact each activity by each staff member. For example:

  • Check-in: Use device for registering patient, verifying information, alerting nurse/doctor of arrival.
  • Triage: Update specific issue or reason for the visit. Alert doctor to the patient’s presence.
  • Consultation: Doctor can use device for ordering tests or labs, prescribing medication, taking notes of the evaluation of the patient.
  • Follow-Up: Select options for front desk staff to know if new appointment is needed, what patient needs to pay and any other pertinent information.

The modern devices provide the custom setup necessary for all types of medical devices. This allows medical practices to have the devices pre-loaded and ready to go for their specific practice.

Ease It into the Workflow

After educating staff on the new piece of medical equipment it is essential to introduce its purpose and benefit to every department or staffer. It is crucial to make sure each person knows the role of the tablet or computer in their specific position. This will make the transition of not using the machine, to using it, worry and trouble free.

Administration – A medical computer in administrative and financial settings provides accounting systems like patient billing, payroll and materials management. These are typically located on desks in the office. Administration will need to back up data and ensure that no important information is lost during the transition.

Healthcare Professionals – A medical computer, cart or tablet may be introduced to a healthcare professional. Nurses who have never used a tablet before may need to learn how to use one for the first time. Nurses are very busy and you will want to make sure there’s a good plan set up before tweaking their routines. Same goes with physicians. If they are used to writing with pen on paper, a tablet with a stylus pen could be quite a change. They may be older and uneducated in computer technology. Even those who grew up when computers were coming out may have trouble learning how these new systems work.

Summary

Learning how to implement the new computer or tablet for a medical practice can take time, but when a plan is in place, it will minimize the confusion or issues that result. There are far too many medical practices attempting to introduce new technology, such as the tablet or computer cart without letting staffers know its purpose and how it will impact efficiency, patient care and productivity. Making a specific plan for workflow integration will make the entire process seamless and provide a significant ROI for the new technology.

 

What You Should Be Aware of When It Comes to Maintaining Your All-In-One PC

The popularity of all-in-one computers has made it the perfect option for professionals who are looking for a device that is versatile enough to address a host of work-related tasks. The powerful graphics system, touchscreen technology, and versatile mounting options of an all-in-one PC make it extremely adaptable to a diverse amount of working conditions. Purchasing an all-in-one computer is one thing but keeping it in good condition is a different proposition. You want to make sure that you get to use the device for an extended period of time. Maintaining your all-in-one PC will ensure reliability from your device. Let’s take a look at some of the things that you have to be aware of when it comes to maintaining an all-in-one computer.

Backing up Your Data

Purchasing an all-in-one computer is pretty straightforward. More often than not, the device will be ready for use right out of the box. Over time, there may be some concerns that you have to address as far as maintaining your device goes. One of the more basic ways of maintaining an all-in-one PC is to check your hard drive space regularly to ensure that you have enough storage available for your files. Keeping your computer system’s files backed up is a great way for you to keep your data secure. These basic steps aren’t enough to ensure that you get to avoid tricky maintenance operations. If you want to install a bigger hard drive or additional memory in your all-in-one computer, you need to gain access to the internal components of the device.

Technical Knowledge

The biggest thing that you have to resolve is the level of technical knowledge that is required to work with the internal components of a computer. If you do possess the technical know-how to replace components like the CPU, hard drive, and memory, then this isn’t really a concern. If you don’t know how to manipulate the parts of your all-in-one computer, make sure that you are able to send the unit back to the manufacturer for repairs.

Enclosed Systems

You need to be aware of the fact that some PC manufacturers design their devices to have an enclosed system. PCs that have an enclosed system prevent you from opening it up without voiding the warranty. You need to have your PC shipped to its manufacturer if you want to have it repaired or if you want to replace specific parts.

Opening Your PC

In order to secure easy maintenance options, make sure that you are able to open the PC without voiding the warranty. Having easy access to the internals of your all-in-one computer will allow you to do simple repairs by yourself. Ideally, the manufacturer of your PC should be able to send you the parts that you need for maintenance operations. Having access to the internal components of your computer can allow you to immediately address issues like long boot up times and slow computing operations. By opening up your computer and installing a faster hard drive or more memory, you can easily upgrade your system to run in a more efficient fashion.

The Cybernet Advantage

Cybernet manufactures all-in-one computers that allow users to easily access the inside of our PCs. Users can upgrade the device’s RAM, CPU, and hard drive without having to deal with an enclosed system. If you encounter issues that require a more extensive repair operation, Cybernet can diagnose troublesome hardware and software issues and resolve them immediately. With fast turnaround times and a responsive service team, you won’t have to deal with the lengthy downtime associated with typical maintenance and repair procedures.

The Importance of U.S. Based Tech Support Services for Your All-In-One PC Issues

Several industries have adopted the use of electronic devices like all-in-one computers and tablets to boost the efficiency of their business processes. Before you can finalize the purchase of a number of electronic devices, it is important for you to become aware of the quality of the support that is available long after you have bought the products in question. When it comes to purchasing electronics, having the services of a well trained tech support team at your disposal cannot be underemphasized. If you encounter PC hardware or software issues somewhere along the way, the services of the available tech support team will be the factor that determines whether the challenges are resolved in an efficient manner or if you end up running into more complications.

U.S. Based Tech Support VS. Overseas Tech Support

The first thing that you have to do is to make sure that the tech support team assigned to your all-in-one computing device is based in the U.S. The service that a U.S. based tech support team provides is drastically different from tech support operations that are outsourced to other countries. Outsourcing has become a trend that a number of operations have resorted to in an effort to cut back on operational costs. Outsourced tech support teams might be cheaper from the manufacturer’s perspective but there are a few consequences that consumers are exposed to as a result of this trend.

An Outsourced Tech Support Team

Outsourced tech support operations can prove to be taxing for consumers who are looking for a clear cut solution to the issues that may be compromising their electronic device. Typically, the biggest source of difficulty for consumers deals with the language barrier. Outsourced tech support operations may not be staffed by people who use English as a native language. As a result, communication problems and misunderstandings can happen between the consumer and the tech support representative. Phone connection issues are also something that you have to consider given the fact that the calls that you’ll be making are overseas phone calls. Having a call cut in the middle of a critical repair situation can be frustrating and professionally compromising as well.

Advantages of a U.S. Based Tech Support Team

It would be best for you to look for a manufacturer with a U.S. based tech support team to bypass challenges that are brought about by communication problems and phone connectivity issues. If a manufacturer does house a tech support team that they personally employ, then this might be an indicator that the tech support staff has a solid grasp of the ins and outs of the device that you’re concerned about. It is deeply vital for you to be able to know about the level of knowledge that a manufacturer’s tech support staff has before you purchase electronic devices from them. The best tech support team should have a keen understanding of the technology that an electronic device uses and should know how to repair hardware issues and resolve software glitches personally. Outsourced tech support teams usually handle services for several companies and the solutions that they offer are less intuitive and rigidly scripted. Make it a point for you to look for dedicated tech support services to ensure that you get to address every perceivable problem that you might encounter somewhere down the line.

The Cybernet Advantage

When it comes to purchasing electronic devices for your industry’s specific needs, Cybernet products provide you with advantages that become more apparent long after you have taken possession of the item. Part of Cybernet’s edge stems from the strength of its U.S. based tech support team. With a dedicated tech support team at your beck and call, you can be assured that possible product issues will be addressed in a quick and efficient manner.

Customers who call in with product specific issues are guided by well trained tech support specialists. Each representative of our customer service team is trained by Cybernet’s engineers. This factor differentiates Cybernet’s customer service team from other companies. Every customer service representative possesses a comprehensive knowledge of the workings of each device and how to resolve possible errors and glitches. More often than not, customer issues can be resolved over the phone through responsive troubleshooting approaches. 50% of the time, Cybernet’s customer Service team is able to resolve product issues over the phone. When clients run a comparison between Cybernet’s success rate in resolving customer issues against the competition, the advantage clearly lies with the former.

For product issues that cannot be resolved through troubleshooting methods, Cybernet issues a Return Merchandise Authorization Number and a call tag to the client. The Return merchandize Authorization Number is designated to the device that needs to be returned for repairs. If the client is covered by the device’s warranty period, the product is serviced at zero cost. The call tag includes packaging that the client can use to return the unit for service. After a call tag has been generated, an email is sent to the client who reported the issue with the device. The email allows each client to track the progress of the unit that is being serviced giving them a concrete timetable of the progress that is made as things develop.

The biggest takeaway that clients can glean from Cybernet’s customer service team is their expedient turnaround time. Cybernet services units within a 24 – 48 hour window. When stacked against the competition, where 6 – 8 week waiting periods are par for the course, Cybernet’s expedient turnaround time is nearly miraculous. The robust build quality of each Cybernet product coupled with its responsive and efficient customer service team provides clients with an unbeatable package of quality and reliability.

With live chat, phone, and e-mail support services available at your disposal, consumers are able to tap into varied channels to address a raft of product related issues. For clients who want to have a clearer picture of each product’s features before they make a final purchase, Cybernet can send a demo unit for the purposes of configuration free of charge. Once the client has configured the unit to his desired specifications, Cybernet takes the demo unit and delivers the client’s purchased devices pre-configured to his preferences right out of the box. Cybernet solutions are the best option for industry leaders who are looking to secure their professional interests in a quick and efficient fashion.