Industry Trends

Digital Transformation in Healthcare and How Fabric Security Solutions Can Assist

By Jonathan Nguyen-Duy | June 01, 2017

Whether it’s healthcare, or any of the other 16 sectors of critical national infrastructure, enterprises responsible for some of our most important cyber assets are undergoing some sort of digital transformation. At its core, digital transformation in business is really about moving from intuitive to data-driven decision making to gain new insights, provide essential services, and drive exponential growth.

Over the past few years, the healthcare sector and other industries have been focused on four major objectives related to digital transformation:

  1. Move into the cloud (and away from legacy environments)
  2. Move into IoT
  3. Leverage ubiquitous broadband
  4. Adopt big data analytics

However, along with all this expansion comes the growth of the potential attack surface and the need to both adhere to industry compliance requirements and defend against increasingly complex and sustained threats.

The Threat Environment & Digital Transformation

Digital transformation in healthcare has led to a move from defined perimeters to perimeter-less ecosystems. This is primarily due to the fact that today’s consumers expect to be served on their own terms, in the locations of their choice, and on the devices they desire. With digital device adoption nearly doubling each year, the perimeter-less digital environment is going to continue to expand and become more complex.

Healthcare is typically leveraging digital transformation to deliver more personalized care, enhance the customer experience, and improve patient engagement through digitized ePHI, collaborative care and service, and more. The same consumers that are used to personalized services provided by organizations like Amazon are also healthcare patients, and they want their digital expectations to be met.

However, over the past two years we’ve also seen hundreds of millions of records compromised. Nearly all of these compromised records were the result of hacking (versus accidental releases of data). This has an impact on the way new digital services can be designed and delivered because we are seeing very deliberate and well-funded campaigns targeting healthcare companies to compromise their data.

The Impact of Digital Transformation on CISOs

Today’s CISOs are being asked by the board of directors to manage both increased risk and compliance by securing any and all devices on the network. There are a growing number of local, national, and international regulations and compliance standards being developed each year, and attackers are becoming savvier. This is an increasing challenge as, at the same time, healthcare patients and the industry expect more from organizations. All of these factors have led to an incredibly challenging environment to manage.

As a result, many organizations are confronted with a situation where they have to choose between productivity and security. Many times, productivity is chosen over security so the business can advance. However, this is a false dilemma. One does not need to be sacrificed for the betterment of the other.

Fortinet Solutions for the Healthcare Industry

Fortinet is dedicated to meeting the varied and critical security needs of today’s healthcare organizations worldwide without sacrificing performance. We do this with integrated and scalable solutions that offer security effectiveness and deliver third-party validated performance.

The Fortinet Security Fabric provides an approach to security that enables organizations to deliver broad and automated security. It includes the key capabilities organizations need for a truly complete solution:

  • Broad: The Security Fabric covers the entire attack surface. Security can be applied to the network, endpoints, access, applications, and cloud.
  • Powerful: The Security Fabric uses security processors to reduce the burden on infrastructure, delivering comprehensive security without affecting performance.
  • Automated: The Security Fabric enables a fast and coordinated response to threats. All elements can rapidly exchange threat intelligence, coordinate actions, and respond in real time without human intervention.

The fabric is designed to dynamically adapt to the evolving IT Infrastructure in order to defend its rapidly changing attack surface. It segments the network from IoT to the cloud to provide advanced protection against sophisticated threats. Each security element in the fabric is aware of the other, allowing them to share policy, threat intelligence, and application flow information with one another.

This collaborative approach provides a much faster time to detect threats, along with the ability to initiate and synchronize a coordinated response no matter what part of the network is in jeopardy. In addition, a growing number of Fortinet technology partners are actively becoming an integral part of this distributed security framework.

The foundation of the Fortinet Security Fabric is Fortinet’s suite of comprehensive security solutions. 

Fortinet’s high-performance network security fabric is comprised of five essential solutions:

  1. Enterprise Firewall: Core firewall and security management platform, providing internal segmentation, next generation firewall, and security operations. 
  2. Cloud Security:  Virtual security solutions for public and private cloud deployments
  3. Advanced Threat Protection: Detection, mitigation, and prevention security solutions for unknown and advanced threats through sandbox and secure mail technologies
  4. Application Security: A robust and integrated set of products to protect web applications, databases, and email systems
  5. Secure Access: Solutions that secure the access layer, including mobile devices, users, WLAN/SD-WAN, and the Internet of Things. 

Final Thoughts

Digital transformation has put pressure on healthcare organizations to adopt and deploy a fabric-based security framework. Cybersecurity as we know it today is a human-led problem that needs to operate at machine speed. It requires an integrated approach that is broad, powerful, and automated.

Fortinet’s Johnathan Nyugen-Duy, VP, Strategic Programs, will be hosting a Think Tank session titled, “Brace for Impact - Cybersecurity to Take Center Stage This Year” at the 2017 Healthcare IT Institute, where he will further explain why 2017 will be a tipping point for cybersecurity in healthcare.

Let’s get a conversation going on Twitter! Is your organization considering a fabric security solution?