Jan 27 2017

To Protect Sensitive Health Data, Organizations Trust Robust Security Tools

Web solutions bring speed and reliability to Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network’s cybersecurity efforts.

With several thousand users accessing patient files at more than 30 different facilities, the IT team for Allentown, Pa.-based Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network has a tall task when it comes to ensuring data privacy. Given the potentially devastating financial and public-relations consequences of any data breach, minimizing that risk ranks as a top priority.

“Any release of patient data, including Social Security numbers or credit card information, to someone for whom it’s not intended, could result in a huge fine,” says Jeffrey Webb, a network engineer at Good Shepherd. When the software and hardware support ended for the security solution Good Shepherd had relied on for six years, Webb initially planned to simply invest in the newest version. However, the renewal quote — which included replacing the end-of-life hardware and software and the cost of the required user licenses — was prohibitively expensive. He investigated additional options instead.

“I probably looked at five different solutions for just the email security piece,” Webb said.

A Smooth Transition

Choosing the Forcepoint TRITON solution enabled Good Shepherd to take advantage of a unified solution with comprehensive functionality, including real-time threat analysis of both incoming and outgoing content; email encryption and identification; and protection of data at rest, in use and in motion, both on the network and on remote devices.

With the clock rapidly running out on Good Shepherd’s existing solution, Webb recognized he needed additional help staying on the fast track. CDW Healthcare brought in partner Espo Systems, a company experienced in Forcepoint deployment, to support the implementation.

After Good Shepherd completed some front-end work, including establishing firewall rules and setting up IP addresses, Espo Systems directed the implementation remotely. Webb and his team worked closely with Espo Systems eight hours a day for about eight days until they completed the cut-over.

Webb’s thorough planning ensured a smooth transition. Most end users barely noticed a change, other than needing to adjust to slightly different encryption procedures. But from an administrative standpoint, there’s been plenty of change — all of it positive.

Improved Performance

Webb loves both the ability to manage all the security tools through a single console and the visibility the single interface provides. “I really like the unified logging feature,” Webb said. “It’s so much faster. You go to one place and there’s a combined log to look at. You can see right away if an email was delivered and if it was encrypted.”

In addition, Webb appreciates how smoothly the tool linked to the Microsoft Active Directory infrastructure. “It gives you the ability to really do everything you need to do on a user-by-user basis or a group basis. You can do as much or as little as you want,” he said.

Forcepoint’s uniquely rigorous data-loss prevention performance has impressed Webb. “With every other solution I’ve ever heard of, if someone wants to send a Social Security number or credit card information and their regular email client won’t do it, they can just go to their Gmail or Hotmail account and do it,” he said. “Websense will block you from doing that. That’s really a selling point.”

Webb has found other differences in the details, as well, such as the straightforward error messages. “For example, there’s a default rule that nobody can send an email to more than 100 people outside the organization. If that happens, the error message is very clear: ‘You exceeded the maximum number of people you can send an email to.’ Not every program does that,” he said.

Additionally, the number of help desk calls has dropped with the implementation of the new solution — and calls are more easily resolved. “Help desk staff now have the ability to go in and see why someone is getting a blocked page or something like that,” Webb said. “They can help out an end user at the initial call. It doesn’t have to escalate to the point where I need to look at it.”

Dive Deeper

Wondering how mobile tools and IT infrastructure can improve healthcare in-home health efforts? Download the case study “Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network secures peace of mind” to learn more about:

  • How a unified security solution minimizes data breach risk
  • The benefits of using a single console
  • The impact of granular policy control on flexibility

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