This week, I decided I’d like to take a break from the educational blogs Tandem has been doing and get a little personal. I want to introduce our new meetup group, “Charleston HIPAA and Healthcare Risk Management Meetup” and I wanted to tell the story behind the group.

Starting from the beginning, Tandem Cyber Solutions was founded early last year with the goal to affect real change in how business approach cyber security. We planned to make change through building relationships, providing education and helping businesses find the most impactful solutions. However, early in our life we realized our efforts were spread to then. We tried to help everyone we could, but after interacting with the Charleston Community and monitoring security trends, we realized that the most impact could be made in the medical community. In fact, they are in dire need of help!

The medical industry is very unique. They are heavily regulated and maintain more sensitive information about customers than almost any other industry. However, in our interactions within this industry, we made a shocking discovery: not only are medical practices insure but most businesses aren’t HIPAA compliant and don’t even realize it. This really blew me away as a business owner and security specialist. Practice managers and owners spend their resources on improving patient care, often neglecting regulatory requirements and cyber security best practices. Whether they don’t have time, the requirements aren’t clear, or they just lack the expertise, these issues have put medical communities in a precarious position; they are vulnerable, not compliant, and in the dark.

This predicament is by no means the medical practioner’s fault. Doctors in the SMB realm are specialists and businesses owners with more than enough on their plates. And the practice managers are busy managing the practice, ensuring both patients and employees are happy. While most practices are trying their best, HIPAA and cybersecurity are vast subjects and no one should be expected to master both medicine and these subjects. This in turn forces the business to take the advice of a 3rd party.

This got me thinking. There must be a place where business owners, practice managers and other HIPAA professionals can discuss these problems and get good advice that is built on the experience and knowledge of a room full of people instead of just relying on their vendors. A place where they can learn about new trends, methods, rulings by the OCR, and anything related to managing their risk. Somewhere they can get the resources to enable them to do a solid job of protecting their business and patients without worrying about running up the meter by the hour. Surely there is a place like this…as it turns out there isn’t.

So, to come full circle, in December we had a networking event designed to educate people on different areas of risk for HIPAA compliant businesses. An expert panel, where 3 folks would answer questions from their perspectives in Insurance, IT management, and ethical hacking. At first glance, the event seemed like a failure because only a few people showed up, but it quickly evolved into a profound and intimate experience. The event transitioned from answering canned questions to a community effort where we openly discussed the problems each of us faced with HIPAA compliance. We were able to give each other tips and resources without the pressure of” The SELL”. At that meeting, I began to envision taking that community feeling and growing it into a bigger, more organized, and further reaching group. A place where people aren’t trying to sell to each other but instead provide resources and advice. A place where we can come up with solutions to each other’s problems together and take a stand against the unrelenting attacks of criminals and misguided employees.

​Thus, the lengthy named meetup group “Charleston HIPAA and Healthcare Risk Management Meetup” was born. We want to recreate what we felt in December and build a community to help each other in this fight. So, if HIPAA is a concern of yours or your business, I’d like to invite you to join us at our next meetup. Your insight will be beneficial to all and we look forward to sharing ours with you.

Join the movement w/
Charleston HIPAA and Healthcare Risk Management Meetup


Micheal Small
Co-founder + Ethical Hacker
Micheal has over 13 years combined experience in Information Security, Information Technology, and Physical Security. He has tackled some of the most daunting certifications in the industry and his passion for the cyber world is unparalleled with exposure to virtually every industry. He continues to hone his skills in Incident Response, Penetration Testing, and Consulting. Recognizing the need for change in cyber security, he volunteers to help entrepreneurs, veterans, and recent graduates. 

Leave a Reply