Enabling Secure Digital Transformation in Healthcare

Healthcare organizations have been embracing digital transformation to provide higher levels of care and near universal access to underserved populations. The pandemic greatly accelerated these efforts, forcing providers to expand their efforts around remote clinics, telemedicine and other key transformation initiatives. As we approach the annual HIMSS conference this month in Chicago, let’s take a moment to look at three key areas and respective security capabilities critical to healthcare providers in 2023 and beyond.

Care from Anywhere and Hybrid Work

With everything from mobile clinics to telemedicine, healthcare providers now need to provide care from virtually anywhere. However, new clinics and increased remote access can’t come at the cost of security. Each new connected clinic or user presents a potential way for a malicious actor to gain access to critical resources. Uptime and availability are equally important considerations here, as each clinic plays a role in bringing critical care to each community they serve. Beyond immediate frontline staff, today’s healthcare organizations also need the ability to onboard and empower a growing hybrid workforce. This makes modern networking and security approaches, such as SASE and ZTNA 2.0, absolutely necessary to keep pace with the continuously expanding connectivity requirements, without compromising on security.

Securing Connected Devices, Including IoMT

Increased remote clinics and hybrid work have also increased the number and diversity of devices connecting to sensitive resources, including critical patient data. Providers need to have complete visibility into user devices, as well as the growing number of connected medical devices that are now spread over an increasingly decentralized infrastructure. Understanding the risk associated with each of these devices is also critical. In the case of a Zero Trust approach, a least-privilege access policy for each type of device is necessary. This helps ensure connected devices are not used as a gateway to sensitive patient and personal information. This also addresses the availability requirements to ensure devices that are pivotal in providing care are healthy and available at all times.

Security Operations: Simplification and Automation

Healthcare organizations have not been immune to the pitfalls of a sprawling set of security tools and cumbersome manual processes. Many organizations are struggling to meet modern security requirements presented by digital transformation, due to an overwhelming set of point solutions that make adopting modern security frameworks, like Zero Trust, virtually impossible. Healthcare security professionals should look for ways to consolidate and simplify their security stack. The Palo Alto Networks Network Security platform can deliver critical security capabilities, such as intrusion prevention, advanced malware protection, DLP, internet of medical things Security (IoMT) URL Filtering (just to name a few). This is all possible in an integrated, expandable solution. Organizations should also look for ways to automate manual security tasks to free up security teams to focus on higher priority tasks, as well as improve mean time to detect and respond.

Security as an Enabler: Delivering High Levels of Care While Protecting Patient Data

As healthcare organizations continue to evolve their IT infrastructure, security will continue to play a critical role. With hybrid work and care from anywhere now standard, providing secure, flexible access needs to be a top priority. An increasing number of IoMT devices, now critical to providing timely patient care, must be inventoried, assessed and protected from service disruption. This means security must be at the core of everything that happens within the IT infrastructure of any leading healthcare organization. Learn how we help secure today’s healthcare organizations.

If you are attending the HIMSS conference this month, we would love an opportunity to meet you and share the latest innovations and enhancements from Palo Alto Networks. See you there!