Enabling the Latest Advances in Patient Care While Protecting Against Cyberattacks



While technology has transformed every industry, it’s brought about especially massive changes in the healthcare industry. Healthcare organisations adopt Internet-of-Medical-Things (IoMT) devices to prolong life, improve health outcomes, and enhance the relationship between patients and care teams. Care providers at hospitals access a diverse range of electronic devices and records to provide the best care possible. And technology allows providers to smoothly collaborate with other organisations.

While providers and innovators in the healthcare sector are dedicated to saving lives and curing disease, their systems are a very attractive target for cyber criminals. Cyber criminals understand that downtime or other disruptions can threaten human lives. As a result, healthcare organisations can become desperate in the face of chaos and disruption, making them more likely to pay up ransoms. Hospital systems and records continue to be breached.

As healthcare technology becomes more advanced, mergers and acquisitions and increasing partnership between organisations further complicate the sprawling infrastructure. The result is a ballooning attack surface, more third-party users accessing network resources, and IoMT devices being built to address every conceivable medical condition—many of which were not designed with security in mind. At the same time, the healthcare industry is highly regulated, with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) placing strict guidelines on the sharing of medical information.

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Industry drivers

Many healthcare organisations are undergoing mergers and acquisitions in the current market, or have formed deep partnerships with other organisations. Both trends tend to result in a wider attack surface with different entities, locations, and technologies.

To address this fragmentation, healthcare organisations need to assimilate new branch locations into an integrated cyber security architecture. Connections with these locations must perform with minimal latency, and care should be taken that adversaries cannot penetrate a less secure branch location and then move laterally within the enterprise.

CT’s technology enables quick integration of newly acquired branch locations by providing integrated networking and security within the branch and with headquarters. Our software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) technology enables network traffic to move over the public internet—or even over selected public clouds using a virtual WAN (vWAN). At the branch, wireless access points and networking hardware integrate into the larger security architecture.

Technology drives amazing advances in healthcare, and connected Internet-of-Medical-Things (IoMT) devices are a big part of that transformation. Securing these devices is a critical priority, but the vast number of distinct device types complicates the task. Many of these devices do not have robust, built-in security, and most of them transmit data over public cellular and Wi-Fi networks.

Regardless of the security features of individual devices, IoMT devices must integrate with an organisation’s overall security architecture. Similarly, users of these devices must be verified and access restricted to those who need it. This helps ensure data integrity and timely patient care.

Our Security Fabric enables organisations to evaluate users and devices using intelligent segmentation and several layers of trust verification. Intent-based segmentation functionality in our NGFWs enables a flexible, intelligent approach to segmenting the network. For devices, network access control keeps track of IoMT devices and their compliance with security policies, while advanced endpoint protection tools protect those devices from attack. For users, identity and access management tools provide layers of authentication. And integrated tools for security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) and security analytics tools provide customisable automated reporting.

Healthcare providers must be prepared for unexpected dangers when it comes to physical security. Patients diagnosed with serious illnesses or who suffer critical injuries can experience extreme emotional swings—as do their friends and family. Additionally, criminals enter healthcare facilities to steal controlled substances, cause operational disruptions, and target those who provide controversial types of medical care. In short, physical security is just as critical as cyber security in the healthcare industry.

The best way to optimise physical security is to integrate surveillance cameras and recorders with the larger security architecture, enabling cyber security protection for these devices. Integrating telephony into the same network provides seamless connections between security personnel, cyber security professionals, and law enforcement.

We provide the opportunity for institutions to integrate cyber and physical security functions—as well as voice communications and PA systems—onto a single console for both visibility and management. This integrated technology enables phone systems, security cameras, facial recognition, weapons detection technologies, and recordings of footage to be a part of the organisation’s overall security architecture. This is particularly useful for privacy and security investigations and for keeping all parties informed about incidents in progress.

Recent research identifies healthcare as the industry with the highest risk of insider threats. Two factors contribute to this trend: the high value of medical information on the black market, and the high turnover in administrative and frontline care positions in the industry. In healthcare, the stakes are incredibly high, as disclosure of private medical information can incur serious liability on an organisation, and compromised data can result in serious complications or even death.

Successfully battling insider threats requires a multi-layered, coordinated approach at a time when trust is no longer automatic. The network should be intelligently segmented to restrict access to each piece of information to those who need it. Additionally, every request for network resources should be inspected from the perspective of both the user and the device. A zero-trust approach like this helps detect inappropriate activity by insiders and block it before it causes damage.

Our Security Fabric provides layers of protection against accidental and deliberate insider attacks. Intent-based segmentation helps keep unauthorised users from accessing specific pools of data. Identity and access management tools verify users, while user and entity behaviour analytics (UEBA) watches for anomalous behaviour by trusted users. Presence analytics can also help detect unauthorised access to physical locations, and deception technology lures adversaries into identifying themselves. And network access control (NAC) and advanced endpoint security solutions help with device verification.

In healthcare, compliance continues to become increasingly complex, with different jurisdictions passing different requirements and new technology necessitating new regulations and standards. Emerging trends like embedded medical devices will continue this trend of constant change for the foreseeable future.

To keep up, organisations must build robust but resilient security that can absorb new tools and elements into an integrated architecture—without requiring a full rip-and-replace of the underlying system every few years.

Our Security Fabric provides a robust, flexible operating system that enables seamless integration of a broad portfolio of security tools, plus third-party tools via Fabric Connectors, an open ecosystem, and robust application programming interface (API) tools. Our deep integration of security solutions deployed on-premises and in the cloud unlocks full automation of security workflows, from detection to response to remediation. Additionally, management, analytics, and event management tools help security teams achieve a proactive rather than a reactive stance toward cyber security.

Healthcare organisations’ corporate infrastructures contain a variety of business-critical data, from financials to private medical information to HR records—as well as critical applications needed for life-saving care. Most institutions now operate in multiple public and private clouds along with the corporate data centre. Organisations often struggle with imparting consistent security controls for the multitude of enterprise environments that they manage. This makes consistent reporting of an enterprise security posture practically impossible.

Organisations facing a fragmented security architecture across their hybrid cloud environment cannot solve their problem without deliberately moving toward end-to-end integration. While the built-in security tools provided by each public cloud provider are useful for what they’re designed to do, institutions need a way to aggregate all these systems with the on-premises infrastructure, enabling a single-pane-of-glass view of the entire infrastructure.

Our Adaptive Cloud Security tools unify healthcare organisations’ hybrid cloud infrastructure by enabling consistent policy management and centralised visibility of the entire infrastructure. These solutions are designed with native integration with all major public cloud providers, broad protection to cover the entire attack surface, and management and automation functionality that enables a proactive approach to threat detection and response, as well as automated compliance reporting.

Our key differentiators for Healthcare

High Performance and Low Latency

Our next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) provide industry-leading performance during SSL/TLS inspection and experience extremely low latency rates, ensuring vital, encrypted medical data is available without delay.

Robust Threat Intelligence

We’ve partnered with world-leading cyber security providers to leverage powerful threat intelligence. We can now deliver comprehensive intelligence from a global network of sensors and an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered self-evolving detection system (SEDS) that has been honing its algorithms for many years. The result is extremely accurate identification of zero-day threats.

Integrated Platform

Our integrated cyber security platform aggregates the security architecture for healthcare organisations, from the data centre to multiple clouds to myriad lifesaving devices. An open application programming interface (API) and Fabric Connectors help organisations integrate third-party tools for niche coverage and maximise prior investments.

Cost Effectiveness

We maintain industry-leading total cost of ownership (TCO) due to high-performance throughput and latency for NGFWs, Secure SD-WAN, and SD-Branch capabilities. The performance of our solutions is enabled by purpose-built ASIC security processors. TCO capabilities are also driven by the ability to use SSL/TLS encryption inspection without performance impact—unlike many other solutions on the market.

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To understand how CT can help you better protect patient data and operations,
speak to us today.