Industry Trends

Why SIEM Solutions Are Essential to Securing Healthcare Networks

By Susan Biddle | June 16, 2017

Nine out of ten healthcare organizations have suffered a breach in the past two years, according to a new Ponemon study, and the data shows that these breaches could be costing the industry upwards of $6 billion.

When analyzing the sources of these breaches, it should come as no surprise that criminal attacks represent more than half of the total as healthcare records provide a treasure trove of valuable data. The remainder of the breaches tends to result from internal issues like employee mistakes, third-party snags, and stolen connected devices.

While the cause of breaches in healthcare may be evenly divided between internal and external sources, the scale tips heavily towards “too slow” when it comes to incident response times. On average, it takes organizations about eight months to detect a security breach, and often times, it’s third parties that uncover the breaches.

The important takeaway here is that if healthcare organizations aren’t able to see what’s happening in real time across their network, they risk allowing threats to evolve and wreak havoc for their business.

Visibility and control are two reasons why security information and event management (SIEM) solutions have become a popular healthcare investment. Here are some of the features that make SIEM solutions essential for today’s digital environment.

Real-Time Analytics

Protecting today’s healthcare networks requires pulling data from a number of different sources in real time. SIEM solutions allow organizations to move data that traditionally lives in a silo to a centralized location where all the threat data from across the network can be viewed through a single lens. SIEM solutions convert each piece of information into a single event and then input it into an automated analytics engine so real-time action can be taken.

Self-Learning Configuration Management Database (CMDB)

To successfully fend off attacks in real time, data must include infrastructure context. Many healthcare IT teams have to load and correlate context information manually, which opens the door to human error while draining time from valuable personnel resources. Most SIEM solutions have the capability to automatically discover both your physical and virtual infrastructure even if IT had no prior knowledge of it. This capability of seeing and assessing every device is critical to securing the entire network and ensuring compliance standards are met. A CMDB will also keep your organization aware even as the environment evolves.

Scalable Log Management

Healthcare organizations are also forced to keep up with the variety of log files that are generated by all the computing devices deployed across the network, which can be extremely cumbersome in today’s digital healthcare environment. Managing these logs can be a challenge due to their sheer volume, the number of formats they are produced in, and the speed at which they’re produced.

SIEM solutions are designed to parse, normalize, and store logs at the speeds needed to stay current. By supporting a wide variety of security systems at once, SIEM solutions are able to collect all the events for a wide-spanning group of devices (and their users) anywhere across the network.

Managing a Multi-Tenant Architecture from a Single Platform

There isn’t a single security solution on today’s market that can fight off 100% of attacks and protect every portion of the network. Certainly not on their own. For this reason, it’s critical that management solutions can be plugged in to one-off security tools. SIEM solutions allow users to manage all their domains and security systems from a single management console. This makes it possible to cross-analyze information from a variety of origins. From here, unique reports, dashboards, and rules can be custom built and deployed to better protect the organization.

Compliance Reports

Healthcare is loaded with compliance standards, and one of the most common reasons organizations make the move to SIEM solutions is to ensure all standards are met. Many SIEM solutions come with pre-defined reports that support compliance needs already included, such as PCI-DSS, HIPAA, SOX, and more.

Final Thoughts

Healthcare organizations need to be better prepared to fight against new attacks that are developing and moving at machine speeds. In order to do so, they should consider SIEM solutions that are built to enhance IT management efficiency while also improving the security framework.

Let’s get a conversation going on Twitter! Has your considered an investment in SIEM solutions?