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Networking Security Is More Important Than Ever For Medical Professionals [Cisco]

Servers, Storage and Networking | Posted on December 10, 2012 by Jason McNeill

  • A single spreadsheet, containing the names and birthdays of your customers, accidentally published by a contractor. Cost: $20 million.
  • Unencrypted backup tapes with over 20 years of data, lifted from the back of a truck. Cost: $4.9 billion.
  • The hindsight of needing a better compliancy plan: absolutely worthless.

This is no MasterCard commercial. It’s just a few stand-out lawsuits that have erupted in the last year against healthcare providers, where an alleged slip-up on handling sensitive data may have led to devastating fines.

Note: I’m hosting a webinar discussing modern IT security needs December 12th – to learn more check it out!

Continue reading to see how healthcare is adopting new compliancy solutions.

While hospital compliancy is nothing new, the challenge seems to only be getting more complicated. Recent trends toward a “borderless”, open and collaborative approach to healthcare have caused IT leaders to go back to the drawing board in search of better security solutions that will let these technologies thrive without the risk.

The network is evolving, fast

Hospitals and health agencies everywhere are radically changing their technology environment, all in order to deliver the best patient care possible. Perhaps nowhere is this more apparent than with the network.

Not only is medical equipment now getting connected, but voice communications, imaging, and the scheduling of medical appointments are all moving away from paper. On top of that, caregivers, patients and guests are frequently getting access to the hospital network from mobile devices.

New risks 

Unfortunately, this shift introduces a new risk to healthcare organizations, one that IT leaders are just starting to see.

It’s not a simple challenge: IT has to make sure the network is reliable, prevent downtime, and continue to improve productivity. And they need to do all this without forgetting about strict compliancy rules.

It’s with this tug-of-war between risk and reward where solutions such as Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) can save the day. These modern network security options are designed to give organizations the power to protect the network, with the flexibility needed for today’s mobile workplaces.

A solution with Cisco ISE

In  relation to healthcare, Cisco’s ISE – and specifically a Cisco solution called BioMed NAC gives hospitals an easy way to get certain biomedical or IT devices onto a network. The platform helps isolate biomedical devices from other hosts on an IP network and protects the devices from a variety of security threats.

Exposure to risk is something IT leaders constantly cope with, in all verticals and all industries. With healthcare, compliancy has never been more difficult, as new technology paradigms create more open, connected patient care. But even if you are not in healthcare, it’s never a good idea to ignore your network security when implementing new, better collaboration solutions.

If you are interested in learning more about this topic, attend my webinar on December 12th. We’ll review how Softchoice is helping IT leaders, in all industries, straddle new mobile security challenges.

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