South Florida Hospital News
Sunday May 26, 2019
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December 2014 - Volume 11 - Issue 6

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Treat Your Guests ... But Ensure Your Network Safety

So many medical practices we walk into for network audits have wireless access points, and many of their devices run exclusively off this platform. Using wireless exclusively in a practice makes life easy when installing computers, laptops, printers, iPads, and other peripherals. But there are many issues with wireless that should be deliberated when considering this path.
 
Computers, laptops, and printers, inherently work faster and are more reliable when connected by an Ethernet cable. Typical wireless performs at almost half the speed versus a cabled device. Signal strength coverage can be spotty when outside the perimeter of the wireless signal, creating dead zones which can cause loss of connection and can ultimately affect productivity. We believe every computer and every printer should be hard cabled directly to a jack. On certain occasions, a switch may be required in hard to access areas, but this should be kept to a minimum.
 
When utilizing iPads, and other peripheral devices that enhance patient care, creating a wireless network is absolutely necessary. Compliancy should be considered when utilizing wireless devices that solely reside on your internal network. Password protection is absolutely necessary. Keep password knowledge limited to a select few. Wireless passwords should never be given out to patients, vendors, or reps visiting the office. For these office visitors a guest network should be made available.
 
A wireless guest network sits in front of your firewall and allows guests to freely use the network without affecting or seeing the internal practice network where all of your servers, computers, etc. live. Guest networks when properly configured do not affect your office network and limits the possibility of hacking into your office network. Companies that keep phones and data separately can run the guest network off of your phone circuit, which further limits the possibility of being hacked.
 
Wireless is necessary and can be a highly effective tool to assist in the functionality of your office environment. Careful consideration should be given to each device when deciding to add to the wireless network, but these decisions should be weighed judiciously. Treat your guests to the convenience of wireless while ensuring the safety of your office network.
 
David Baruch, Mitech One, LLC, can be reached at (954) 689-2488 or sales@mitech1.com.
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