Oct 19 2021

Healthcare Organizations Can Better Achieve Digital Transformation with SASE

McAfee Enterprise’s MVISION Unified Cloud Edge helps healthcare organizations secure patient data while increasing workforce agility using principals of cloud-delivered secure access service edge.

The pandemic demanded a shift to care delivery beyond the four walls of hospital or clinic rooms. Healthcare organizations had to adapt, leading to expanded adoption of virtual care solutions as well as remote work capabilities for ancillary staff and certain clinicians.

These changes coupled with the increasing sophistication of ransomware attacks require a transformation of healthcare organizations’ security strategies to protect patient data and critical infrastructure. Meanwhile, the digital transition to cloud-native applications and expansive use of mobile devices — not to mention wireless home monitoring devices — mean the number of endpoints that could be exploited by malicious actors is growing.

MVISION Unified Cloud Edge (UCE) allows healthcare organizations to deliver data and threat protection to any location, allowing for fast and secure care delivery and remote access using the cloud.

DISCOVER: Explore how McAfee Enterprise's solutions keep healthcare organizations secure.

The Cloud Is Key to Establishing a SASE Framework

The UCE platform uses principles of cloud-delivered secure access service edge (SASE), which converges connectivity and security to reduce cost and complexity while increasing workforce agility.

“Workforce patterns in healthcare have changed, so more people in healthcare are working from home, on systems that have sensitive health data,” says Brooke Noelke, McAfee Enterprise’s senior architect and strategist for global services transformation. “The pandemic has also accelerated the use of clouds for healthcare, and more of an organization’s traffic is going from the home to the cloud or from protected networks to the cloud.”

Noelke explains that when organizations try to use traditional security technology that protects on-premises applications, such as secure web gateways or firewalls, to safeguard data going to and from the cloud, they are failing to meet performance standards because the volume of traffic in and out of them is so much greater than before.

“Even if you avoid those issues, you aren’t achieving effective security because they go over networks we don’t control,” she says. “The first step of SASE is to establish an integrated, secure, cloud-based web gateway and broker technologies, which massively improve the security of the traffic that’s going to cloud systems.”

The Cloud Offers Another Level of Security for Healthcare

McAfee Enterprise offers a complete security architecture, including remote browser isolation, to protect clinician device traffic from hitting a website that is an infection point and exposing them to malware.

“When we see a risky website, we don’t deny them access per se; instead of processing the web page on the end user’s device, we process it in the cloud, so it is presented to them as a picture in cases where we know there’s significant risk,” Noelke says. “This secure web gateway offers critical and immediate improvements, and then we can add in additional components of SASE, like data loss prevention technology, which can be extended to all the cloud services by the healthcare organization.”

She adds that, like the digital transformation healthcare organizations are currently undergoing, the move to SASE is a journey, not a one-step solution.

Brooke Noelke
That’s the promise of SASE: We can release a doctor’s creativity wherever the doctor or service is, instead of having to push it into the data center.”

Brooke Noelke Senior Architect and Strategist for Global Services Transformation, McAfee Enterprise

“Services like remote device monitoring are increasingly common in healthcare, and they are all using the cloud,” she says. “Now multiply that by however many departments a hospital has, and the number of different vendors and technologies within all those healthcare departments.”

Noelke says MVISION UCE allows doctors to offer innovative, in-demand services while applying good data protection and being on top of firewalls and secure web gateways out of the cloud.

“That’s the promise of SASE: We can release a doctor’s creativity wherever the doctor or service is, instead of having to push it into the data center,” she says.

SASE Helps Healthcare Organizations Identify Cyberthreats

Cloud Security Advisor, another UCE feature, allows IT security teams to communicate the specific risks to their healthcare organization using industry benchmarks based on security postures of other organizations in the healthcare space.

“If you’re struggling to get funding, and you have this data about what your risks are compared with other healthcare organizations, you can have that conversation about how important that funding and that investment is while undergoing this digital transformation,” says Noelke. “Part of that conversation is about securely offering cloud-based services that improve healthcare.”

She says it’s important for the healthcare security team to understand what specific threat campaigns are out there, which is what another feature, called MVISION Insights, is meant to achieve.

MORE FROM HEALTHTECH: Learn more about SASE and how it can help your healthcare organization.

MVISION Insights takes data from the millions of sensors it sees activity from at McAfee Enterprise and correlates threat campaign behaviors from around the world; for example, a campaign targeting healthcare organizations on the East Coast.

In knowing what those campaigns are, MVISION Insights can provide IT security pros with indicators of that threat campaign. Then, knowing what might be coming, they can get recommendations on improving their security posture as well as indicators of the threat campaign within their local environment.

“It’s amazing how high the stakes are, and I should mention healthcare has been particularly targeted by threat actors because these organizations are under such pressure to adopt efficiency-boosting technologies,” Noelke says. “There are all kinds of new risks, and it makes it very difficult for these healthcare organizations to adopt these new technologies. So these toolsets help them put much-needed efficiency drivers in place.”

Brought to you by:

KanawatTH/Getty Images

Become an Insider

Unlock white papers, personalized recommendations and other premium content for an in-depth look at evolving IT