The economy is scattered with many sectors, which are all linked to the cyberspace. Today, there isn’t any part of the economy and society that isn’t linked globally to the cyber world. This also makes every sector prone to the risks and cyber threats lurking around. The healthcare industry is no exception to this.
The healthcare industry is driven by sophisticated technology, automation, and information. This is why CynergisTek is here to provide tailored cybersecurity support to healthcare providers. Many functions, clinical, operational, and administrative, rely heavily on the enterprise, applications, and data. With a vision to be the first name in healthcare cybersecurity, privacy, and compliance, CynergisTek was established in 2004.
In chat with Mac McMillan, CEO
What were the contributing factors that made you choose healthcare cybersecurity as the platform to set up your company?
We selected healthcare out of the gate because of three primary driving factors. The industry was just coming under the HIPAA Privacy and Security regulations and would have to respond to those requirements. Secondly, in 2003 timeframe, the industry was extremely immature with its level of overall data security. And lastly, it was also embarking on a journey to automate and digitize virtually everything it does and its information. We knew that technology was about to change healthcare in a big way and as it did, protecting the integrity and availability of those systems would be a critical business need.
Share us the experience of your first project roll out?
By financial standards, our first project won’t sound very impressive, but it was a huge success in helping to establish the direction and personality of the company. The first project was a small $5,000 program review performed for a medium sized health system. It was an opportunity to learn, listen, and demonstrate our expertise, and helped improve our partnership model. This health system was, later, one of our first Compliance Assist Partner Program (CAPP) customers, has been in the CAPP program now for more than 15 years, and a continuous customer for 17 years through four separate CIOs. That small $5,000 review now represents millions of dollars in business over the last 17 years because we focused on the relationship, not the dollars.
Elaborate the factors/assets that have contributed to your company’s success?
I think that would be clarity of mission, being process driven, maintaining market focus, investments in people, and having a service ethic. Since our first day, we have had one prime objective, which is to be the best cybersecurity, privacy, and compliance company in healthcare. Clarity of mission is something I link to the Marines which I spent many years in. Every Marine from the lowest private to the Commandant is clear on what their mission is. Process driven means developing repeatable processes for everything we do to create consistency, quality, and trust with clients.
Market focus refers to always trying to stay one step ahead of where healthcare, technology, and security are heading, as well as where the threats are heading, and understanding the implications of this for our customers. It is important to us that we select and invest in the best people and that we are committed to providing expertise, experience, knowledge, and more.
How well do your employees know their role in contributing to the team’s and company’s success?
No one wants to be the best player on the worst team. There is no ring in that equation. Instead, employees want to be a part of an organization that is growing and achieving, and where they can see their contribution to that success even as they take personal pride or enjoyment at what they do as well. Employees want to see their contributions have meaning, they want to see the individual as well as group victories, small and large, and they want to be a part of something positive.
Additionally, I also believe we do a good job of incorporating what we do into the OneCTEK program for employee recognition. These are designed to recognize and reward employees who do something amazing in alignment with our OneCTEK values.
Two-way communication is the key. How well are the employees given a chance to bring their ideas to the table?
At CynergisTek we try to ensure that we are organized in a most efficient and flat manner to minimize overhead and shorten the distance to speak to our executive leadership team. Our in-house collaboration tool has more than 30 active channels that allow employees, managers, and executives to have both private and shared group discussions on almost everything. We continue to support and encourage our staff to pursue higher education goals and to maintain their certifications key to their professional career. We also have a mandatory mentor program for directors and above.
How do you and your company contribute to the global IT platform and society at large?
This is one question everyone in CynergisTek can answer without having to stop to think about it! What we do contributes directly to the primary mission of healthcare, providing care, and respecting patient privacy. To build cybersecurity and privacy programs that ensure the integrity and reliability of that enterprise are critically important to our mission of care. With every assignment, every project we know, we are contributing support to one of our nation’s critical infrastructures, communities across the United States, and society.
Do you have any new products to be rolled out into the market?
Yes, we do. We’ve added both an incident response service that has five separate components that clients can purchase individually or together with our managed services portfolio. We also are in the process of completely revamping our managed print service that addresses the entire print environment. We’ve also expanded our professional services portfolio, which now includes support for program development and strategic sourcing for critical staff.
Where do you see you and your company a couple of years from now?
The future will be full of new technologies and devices that will continue to emerge and need to be protected. We hope to be right in front of that new future, developing the next set of solutions necessary to help our clients do what they do best – provide care to their patients. We hope to continue to grow and be recognized as the first name in healthcare cybersecurity and privacy.
From the Leader’s Desk
Mac McMillan is CEO of CynergisTek, Inc. He has been named as one of the top 100 healthcare IT executives and top 50 health IT influencers. He is recognized as a HIMSS Fellow and former Chair of the HIMSS Privacy & Security Committee as well as the Policy Task Force. McMillan brings nearly 40 years of combined intelligence, information security, and consulting experience and has worked in the healthcare industry since his retirement from the federal government in 2000. He is considered a thought leader in compliance, security, and privacy issues in healthcare, and has contributed to two books on cybersecurity in healthcare and is on the CHIME/AEHIS Board.
“We’re constantly thinking about what’s next, where to set that next milestone, and how we’re going to get there.”