Overcoming the Challenges of a Zero Trust Journey in Healthcare

| Author , tagged in cloud security, zero trust
Cloudticity, L.L.C.

Healthcare Security Challenges

Let’s face it. Healthcare organizations in the year 2022 face challenges when it comes to optimizing their technology stacks. Going through COVID left many organizations short handed, causing them to put any technology issues that were not immediately imperative to the wayside. This is within an industry that has been notorious for being a late adopter to new technologies. At the same time there has been an incremental increase in the use of telehealth with over 80% of US respondents in a PwC study saying it is now a preferred way to receive medical care. As of today, the average healthcare company also has to consider a widening talent gap with as many as 30-40% of healthcare workers seeking to leave the industry due to burnout. 

At the same time there has been an uptick in nefarious activity from increasingly more sophisticated threat actors. It is estimated that the cost of cyber crime could rise to as much as 10 trillion dollars by 2025. Healthcare is among the most targeted industries for attack because the information that can be extracted is often both financial as well as containing PHI information. Healthcare also naturally has a large attack surface since there are many different types of devices around the organization that are accessed by an array of different people. In an effort to stymie these vulnerabilities, the concept of Zero Trust has moved to the forefront over the last couple of years.

Before COVID, most companies would verify user credentials before allowing access to the network. Once inside a corporate VPN, employees could access most of the organization for however long those credentials were valid. In some cases this could be for extended amounts of time. If these credentials were stolen and bad actors got in, they could wreak havoc for months at times before being detected. 

Emergence of Zero Trust

With the sudden increase in remote work that was seen with COVID, this had to change. The concept of Zero Trust was initially created to deal with the situation of extended access by saying that a network should Never Trust and Always verify. This helps reduce the chances of external threats, like malware or data loss, and creates an overall safer environment, regardless of where employees and resources are located.

 In May 2021, the White House introduced an executive order directing the Federal Government to align to Zero Trust as a matter of national security. This is why most organizations today are at least moving towards a Zero Trust methodology. The Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA) consists of 5 security categories: 

  • Identity 
  • Endpoint
  • Data
  •  Infrastructure 
  • Application 

Increased visibility into each of these five categories is also critical for success. 

Problem is, most healthcare organizations have neither the budget or staff to administer a Zero Trust strategy. Many of them are still struggling to upgrade aging infrastructure and legacy devices running on old operating systems, while ensuring EHRs are maintained correctly and staff is trained. 

In a recent  Forrester study on Zero Trust where they surveyed 1475 IT professionals, they found three emergent recommendations for organizations looking to adopt Zero Trust strategies:

  1. Recognize zero trust is a continual process, not a laurel to rest on
  2. Involve development teams early in the security strategy process
  3. Learn to speak the language of development rather than asking development to speak security

The core message is that Zero Trust adoption has to be an organizational goal, not just a top down decision. Development teams need to be integral to the security process and plans have to be articulated in a way that makes sense to different functional groups throughout the organization. Utilizing proven best practices for Zero Trust adoption are critical, and expert advice can significantly increase the chance of success.

Cloudticity Can Help

This is where Cloudticity comes in. Cloudticity helps healthcare organizations achieve Zero Trust goals and move past legacy infrastructure by enabling healthcare organizations to utilize the power of the cloud. Through cloud enablement, healthcare companies can save money, reduce man hours, and optimize their resources for the growing complexities of the years to come. Utilizing a proprietary automation technology called Cloudticity Oxygen, we help organizations move to the cloud in a compliant and secure manner. Most importantly, Cloudticity can help meet the pillars needed for a Zero Trust strategy.

While the challenges Healthcare entities face today are great, the cloud can help organizations overcome them. Cloud technologies enable great scalability and security, and reduce the work needed to achieve and maintain Zero Trust. 

It’s worth mentioning that Zero Trust is an ongoing process rather than a one time project. As with any new undertaking, having an experienced guide can save you time and money, and help you get it right the first time. In the case of healthcare, that can amount to saving lives. To learn more, click the link to read the full white paper on how Cloudticity can accelerate your Zero Trust Journey. 

Zero Trust

TAGGED: cloud security zero trust

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