Blog

The Mission of Supporting Healthcare Providers Continues…

Tony Douglas | April 5, 2021

Along with many of my colleagues and Healthcare industry peers, I have been energized recently, as COVID cases ease and optimism takes root. After a six-month professional hiatus, I decided back in November 2020 to join Forescout and progress my longstanding mission to support Healthcare delivery organizations (HDOs). Joining Forescout has been a transformative move for me based on the amazing advances they (we) are bringing to the field of Healthcare IT security.

At Forescout, we are privileged to work with some of the best minds in cybersecurity as we build on the company’s successes and formally establish a best-in-class Healthcare industry vertical practice. Just four months into the role, I could not be more pleased with my decision or more optimistic regarding what we are out to accomplish.

Over the past two decades, technology has proven highly valuable to HDOs, underpinning initiatives that have led to greatly improved patient outcomes and higher levels of operational efficiency. Most recently, technologies like telemedicine and secure remote access have served HDOs as they strive to safely maintain quality patient care during the pandemic and beyond. Yet, for all the positive outcomes technology innovation brings to the healthcare industry, there are associated risks.

The explosive adoption of technology among HDOs has significantly increased the challenge of securing the edgeless environment, where people, devices, apps, data and networks intertwine. As organizations adopt connected and ‘smart’ devices, cloud, work-from-home tools and mobile apps, cybercriminals are devising new ways to compromise these productivity and efficiency enablers. In their 2020 Annual Report, CynergisTek noted the following: “In cybersecurity, if you are not improving, you are falling behind in managing your risks — the bad guys keep getting better, the technology more complex, yet more (tech) is being deployed.”

In Healthcare, this growing cybersecurity risk is an unfortunate reality. In a recent study by Forescout Research Labs, the team assessed the risk posture of over 8 million devices deployed across five industries: Financial Services, Government, Healthcare, Manufacturing and Retail. Our team concluded that Healthcare continues to operate at a relatively high level of risk. Most notably, high levels of risk surround connected medical devices and the ongoing trend toward digitalization in Healthcare. In fact, a separate study from the Forescout Research Labs shows that Healthcare Delivery Organizations are still a Top Target for Attackers.

After delving into the comprehensive nature of the Forescout platform, I am excited about the ways we can help secure Healthcare. First and foremost, Forescout’s foundational focus is to provide comprehensive and complete visibility of “all things connected” on an HDO’s network, including IoMT and Medical Devices. Once an HDO establishes complete visibility via Forescout, we mature policies to enact risk-reducing measures by applying a Zero Trust approach to network access, implement effective and low-risk network segmentation and leverage your existing security technologies to orchestrate additional actions.

In the end, we enable HDOs to implement actionable visibility and help address critical security objectives, such as:

  • Ensuring your remote workforce and patients are connecting safely
  • Protecting devices, like connected infusion pumps, from unauthorized access, even when running on open-source operating systems
  • Implementing a disruption-free network segmentation strategy to mitigate the “blast radius” in the event of a network intrusion

This is why I’m fired up to be at Forescout. It’s not only the great platform Forescout has developed – it’s the people who are deeply committed to supporting it and supporting you. So, let’s collectively lean into these issues together and address these risks so the Healthcare industry can continue to confidently embrace technology and realize the ultimate goal of optimal patient outcomes.

To learn more about how Forescout solutions secure HDO networks – including IT, IoT and IoMT devices – visit our IoT Healthcare Security web page.