After my last bike ride, I climbed off and felt something strange in my knee. When you take as many spills as I do, you learn when your body is trying to tell you things aren’t right. So I decided to head to the doctor and have him take a look just in case.
As the nurse took my vitals for my chart, she wheeled over a variety of devices for each purpose. Afterward, the doctor came in and wanted to get a quick X-ray to make sure nothing was wrong inside. The thought of having to walk down the hall was not appealing, but to my relief the nurse wheeled in a mobile X-ray machine. Thankfully X-ray was good and I just needed my knee wrapped. As I walked out of the office with a bit more spring in my step, it occurred to me that all of these mobile devices collected a lot of my information to record later. I wondered to myself just how secure those devices really were?
Increasing Presence of Security in Healthcare
Security is quickly becoming pervasive in the healthcare industry. That's a relief for anyone that worries about their personal information being leaked and exploited. Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems have come a long way and help provide better care for patients everywhere. There has been an explosion in recent years of networked biomedical devices. This allows doctors and nurses to record information electronically to reduce errors and make EMR entry faster. These devices are becoming increasingly mobile.
Medical devices are created for a specific purpose and used until they either expire or are replaced with better devices years from now. That means they have long life spans. Older medical devices could be running insecure wireless hardware. These older cards may only support slow 802.11b data rates or be incapable of newer, more robust encryption. Worse yet, these headless devices may be exposed in a number of ways without any way for them to be updated or changed.
Securing the Network with ClearPass
Aruba ClearPass has a number of features that can help healthcare IT departments solve these challenges for their users and the patients their users serve. ClearPass can increase security in the places where it is needed and disable things that can cause catastrophic data breaches before they happen. This means that the exposure surface of legacy devices can be minimized until such time as they are replaced with newer technology.
When new devices are introduced into the network, ClearPass can help speed their adoption and reduce deployment time. ClearPass can simplify on boarding of devices to get them into the hands of care givers quickly. Statistics can be provided to see adoption rates of new devices to ensure they are being put into use on schedule. And lastly, once the new devices are brought online, the old devices’ network access can be disabled to ensure that they are retired as needed.
ClearPass can also ensure that security is present for your mobile workforce as well. Nurses are a part of the full time hospital staff and record information on enterprise assets that conform to policies set forth by the IT department. On the other hand, doctors are typically contractors and use their own phones and tablets. These personal devices may not meet the enterprise standards and could become a weak link in the network. ClearPass allows you to define policies that ensure that doctors are meeting the security needs of the organization while still having access to the files and resources they need to provide care to patients.
Security should be designed to keep information and devices safe while staying out of the way of the people providing care to patients in need. Aruba ClearPass enables healthcare IT professionals to build a reliable, secure infrastructure that enables doctors and nurses to do their jobs while ensuring patient information is secure at all times.
To learn more about Aruba ClearPass click on any of the resources below:
Adaptive Trust Defense http://www.arubanetworks.com/solutions/adaptive-trust-defense/
Healthcare Solutions Overview http://www.arubanetworks.com/assets/so/SO_Healthcare.pdf
ClearPass Policy Manager http://www.arubanetworks.com/products/security/network-access-control/
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