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Redefining Healthcare Security With A Single-Vendor SASE Solution

  Mike Thweatt     Mar 19, 2024

Fortinet’s advanced and comprehensive SASE solutions ensure robust data security and streamline network operations for healthcare organizations.In the modern healthcare ecosystem, data plays a critical role. From storing patient records and managing finances to facilitating research and developing treatment plans, this information forms the lifeblood of the industry. It goes beyond the common data pulls for medical histories and financial details, as it also encompasses vital research findings, drug trial results, and personalized treatment plans – all essential for individual well-being and scientific advancement. However, this treasure trove attracts attackers, threatening patient privacy and trust, hindering care, and compromising the entire healthcare system.

What can healthcare organizations do? We’ll delve into the modern challenges they face, and solutions they can take to build a more secure healthcare landscape.

Challenges In Healthcare

Healthcare institutions face an uphill battle: balancing cutting-edge technology with robust cybersecurity measures. In recent years, there have been several high-profile attacks on these organizations due to these common challenges:

  1. The use of outdated VPNs. This fails to adequately protect user and patient information against ransomware, phishing, malware, and other cyber threats.
  2. Relying on a patchwork of cybersecurity solutions and vendors, both on-premises and off-site. This leads to high operational costs, antiquated operations, lagging detection and response, and unnecessary complexity.
  3. Maintaining a high level of cyber resiliency across different environments, such as on-site and work-from-anywhere setups. Simplifying the structure is crucial for compliance and reducing the overall attack surface. While clinical staff may be working on-site, many non-clinical staff are still working remotely, and often within departments executing critical data flows. 

Fortifying the healthcare system’s digital defenses requires a multi-pronged approach involving the adoption of reliable software solutions and updates, paired with comprehensive staff education. By safeguarding patient privacy and enabling the uninterrupted delivery of high-quality care, cybersecurity is not merely an option – it’s an essential investment.

WEI Remains Ahead of Cybersecurity Curve

Key Impacts Of SASE

Traditional security approaches struggle to keep pace with the evolving healthcare landscape. Enter Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), a revolutionary solution promising a paradigm shift in safeguarding sensitive medical data. We’ve identified five key aspects of SASE and their impact on healthcare security. Let’s explore:

  1. Unified Security Approach: SASE unifies network and security in the cloud to streamline and scale management and boost healthcare IT security. Sticking with old methods leaves organizations exposed, making SASE’s holistic and modern approach crucial for healthcare.
  2. Zero Trust Principles: Healthcare institutions can minimize insider threats and boost security by adopting Zero Trust, a model rejecting inherent trust and emphasizing constant verification and monitoring. This is a topic we’ve covered plenty in recent time, and this practice is only growing more prevalent across all industries. 
  3. Cloud-Native Security: Cloud-native security scales dynamically, protecting healthcare data as volumes soar. This flexible approach safeguards sensitive information through the power of cloud technology.
  4. Endpoint Security: In the face of devastating breaches, robust antivirus and frequent updates are vital to fortify devices against cyberattacks.
  5. AI-Driven Threat Detection: AI-powered threat detection analyzes data in real-time as well as forecasts actions for future threats. This helps spot anomalies and respond to security threats as they emerge.

In the realm of healthcare cybersecurity, SASE addresses various challenges in the industry by providing secure access and high-performance connectivity to users in various locations. However, many SASE solutions fail to provide consistent cybersecurity or seamlessly integrate with existing network and security tools.

Building A Stronger Cybersecurity Future

Considering Universal SASE In The Healthcare Sector?

Universal SASE provides consistent cybersecurity and optimal experiences, safeguarding all users, devices, and edges, including microbranches. Built on a single-vendor approach like Fortinet’s FortiSASE, it offers a comprehensive solution by integrating SD-WAN with cloud-delivered security services. This approach ensures optimal and secure connectivity for all.

FortiSASE employs a distinctive secure networking approach driven by a singular operating system known as FortiOS. Augmented by FortiGuard AI-Powered Security Services, this strategy enables Fortinet to seamlessly integrate security and networking with the following functionalities:

  • Streamlined Management: Simplify both networking and cybersecurity policy administration through a consolidated agent, enhancing operational efficiency.
  • Consistent And Flexible Security Everywhere: Fortinet solutions ensure consistent security for both on-site and remote users, minimizing security vulnerabilities and simplifying configuration tasks. Fortinet Secure SD-WAN enables organizations to secure and transform their on-premises WAN while extending security into the cloud with FortiSASE.
  • Real-Time Threat Protection: FortiClient and FortiGuard AI-Powered Security Services provide immediate defense against cyber threats.
  • User-Friendly Licensing: Fortinet offers straightforward user-based licensing and user-friendly management and monitoring tools.
  • Unified Endpoint Protection: Leveraging FortiClient, FortiSASE delivers all cybersecurity services, safeguarding endpoints and providing remote access, telemetry, and visibility within the Fortinet Security Fabric.
  • Secure Private Access: FortiSASE offers secure private access capabilities that seamlessly integrate with SD-WAN networks, utilizing intelligent steering and dynamic routing to ensure optimal access to corporate applications.
  • Secure Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Access: Addressing the challenges of shadow IT and data exfiltration, FortiSASE provides secure SaaS access with a dual-mode CASB, offering both inline and API-based support. It delivers comprehensive visibility by identifying critical SaaS applications and identifying risky ones, thus mitigating shadow IT risks.
  • Enhanced User Experience: Through SD-WAN, organizations can enhance application experience, connectivity, and operational efficiency, ultimately improving user satisfaction.

Final Thoughts

Healthcare organizations need secure and reliable network access, especially with distributed teams and cloud-based applications. FortiSASE offers a high-performance, scalable, and globally-spanning cloud network with a single-vendor SASE approach. This means broad coverage, easy scalability, and streamlined operations, freeing your healthcare teams to focus on what matters most: delivering exceptional patient care.

WEI’s team of experts is ready to support you and your organization in your cybersecurity and business goals. Contact us to get started.

Next steps: Managing and securing data, applications, and systems has become more arduous and time-consuming with the rise of cloud adoption and the expansion of the digital attack surface. To help remedy this, FortiAnalyzer offers a powerful log management, analytics, and reporting platform that features a single console to manage, orchestrate, and respond. Download our free tech brief below to read.

Tags  Fortinet SD-WAN SASE edge-to-cloud endpoint protection cybersecurity zero-trust network access Network Strategy healthcare FortiSASE

Mike Thweatt

Written by Mike Thweatt

About WEI

WEI is an innovative, full service, customer-centric IT solutions provider. We're passionate about solving your technology challenges and we develop custom technology solutions that drive real business outcomes.

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