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ARTICLE

How Smart is Your Security?

Jamison Utter

01 Nov, 2020 • 4 minutes read

Make sure you have what you need to protect your smart, connected care.

Today’s Landscape – the Future of Healthcare is Smart and Connected

New uses for IoMT and IoT devices, as well as telehealth and telemedicine applications hold the promise of expanding the reach, efficiency and effectiveness of care around the globe. The possibilities seem endless, which is one reason the National Science Foundation has a Smart and Connected Health (SCH) program designed to “accelerate the development and integration of innovative computer and information science approaches to support the transformation of health and medicine.”

We’ve already started to see the benefits of being able to monitor the health and progress of patients, reduce errors and wait times, and improve physician productivity. 60% of healthcare providers have already adopted and are successfully using IoT solutions in their delivery of care. Current events have led many health systems to move up their adoption timelines even more, with 41% of consumers in a recent McKinsey & Company survey indicating “they had received care via telemedicine due to a provider’s recommendation.”

The initial response around the improvements these smart, connected technologies can bring appears to be positive. As of last month, 65% of respondents to McKinsey’s survey were “very satisfied” with their telemedicine visits. Research from Accenture notes that “IoT devices and software enabled for the detection or treatment of medical problems could save the U.S. healthcare system more than $100 billion in the next four years.”

The Challenges of Smart, Connected Healthcare

While all these technologies are generating great opportunities, there is also a dark side. All of these connected devices and applications represent new attack vectors for hackers to exploit. If compromised, there can be dire consequences, impacting the privacy of patient data, including electronic medical records (EMR), financial statements and personally identifiable information (PII), and the ongoing availability of hospital operations and care.

Consider all the data that is being created throughout the health system during the continuum of care, and then consider what happens to all this data when the devices that contain them can be moved almost anywhere. To enable this digitization and care fluidity, all these devices and all this data from individuals, the network, endpoints, and the cloud need to be secured.

That’s easier said than done. Back in 2015, the University Medical Center (UMC) in New Orleans lost $15 million-plus worth of equipment because staff didn’t tag or record the assets – now, environments are that much more dynamic and complex with all the IoT devices and wearables that are constantly being introduced. Consider that today’s hospitals have twice the amount of IoT devices than networked devices. On average there are 15-20 IT devices in a typical hospital patient room in a 500-bed hospital. That’s a lot to keep track of! Then consider that medical devices have an average of 6.2 vulnerabilities each, with 60% of medical devices at their end-of-life stage. That’s a lot to protect!

The Cisco and Medigate Solution – Safeguarding Patients, Devices, and Data

Cisco has partnered with Medigate to protect your entire Healthcare enterprise. Every network and device from labs to administration, to back-office systems and clinical settings, are part of the umbrella of coverage offered by Cisco and Medigate. The foundation of any great security program is actionable insights, that is a step beyond visibility. It’s a unique understanding of clinical environments and workflows which is provided by Medigate to Cisco. That deep understanding then is applied in policy across NAC, Firewall, and other security controls allowing the infrastructure to be accurately, appropriately, and automatically configured for your devices and medical workflow.

The Benefits of Cisco and Medigate

Healthcare organizations can leverage Cisco’s comprehensive, end-to-end healthcare security portfolio with the identification and profiling capabilities of Medigate to gain greater insight into their connected medical devices, benefit from sophisticated network analysis to detect threats, and implement clinically driven, rule-based policy enforcement mechanisms. Cisco networking and security solutions provide industry-leading access control capabilities, including granting network visibility of IT devices, enforcing highly customizable access policies, and facilitating swift action against unsafe devices. 

Together, health systems achieve:

  •   Automated ongoing discovery of all devices
  •   Segmentation by device types
  •   Clinically-based security policies
  •   A phased roadmap with roles across key stakeholders
  •   Policies to prevent attacks from spreading

Contact us to find out how Medigate and Cisco can help you detect emerging threats in your increasingly connected, smart health system to protect your patients, devices and data, now and in the future.   

Jamison Utter

01 Nov, 2020 • 4 minutes read
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