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Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting critical IT infrastructure in the context of your business.

Unified Vulnerability Management for Healthcare

Posted April 20, 2011    Morey Haber

Today’s businesses are facing greater regulatory demands, increasing vulnerabilities, a rapid shift to digital business processes, and flat budgets.  The healthcare industry is no different and shares the same problems as almost every other vertical; how to keep sensitive data secure. Regardless of patient information, billing and payment data, and historical medical information, protecting an individual’s rights and securing the transmission of data (paper and electronic) is one of the fundamental principles for HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996). How industry manages these problems is based on the fundamental characteristics all business use to store and process large quantities of data; computers. Almost every vertical has some form of government (or private like PCI) regulation that has been enacted in the last 20 years to safe guard consumers and businesses from loose processes and malicious intent. They all share a common theme for managing vulnerabilities and controlling risk. For information technology, this is defined as Unified Vulnerability Management and all regulatory initiatives can be distilled down to the common information technology processes for managing the security of user and business data.

Meeting HIPAA requirements, according to an eEye study, takes as much as 50% of your workweek. And as if compliance itself wasn’t challenging enough, you now also need to protect against highly sophisticated attacks on healthcare organizations. eEye enables the healthcare sector to keep up with the growing and complex issues of vulnerability management by providing a solution that has been tailored specifically to the needs the industry requires. Retina addresses the security and privacy of health data through vulnerability assessment and endpoint protection by providing Administrative and Technical Safeguard Controls (HIPAA Section 508) and documenting risk analysis and management programs.

By using eEye’s Unified Vulnerability Management solution, Retina can identify the asset, associated risks, and vulnerabilities, and allow a complete review of the data in the proper context all the way through the remediation stage and final verification of fixes.   eEye complete solution incorporates a sophisticated events management system to manage the entire process and minimize resources needed to undertake this critical security initiative.

In the following five steps, a user can meet healthcare regulations and obtain compliance with business objectives using Retina:

  1. Identify all network assets regardless of function and connectivity (wired and wireless)
  2. Report security risks by vulnerabilities, regulatory compliance (HIPAA), and improper configurations.
  3. Mitigate and remediate vulnerability and security risks.
  4. Reassess and confirm mitigation steps are correct and processes are working within guidelines.
  5. Provide trending and reporting to document long term process requirements.

And, most importantly start at step one again on a periodic basis (normally monthly) to ensure the process is ongoing and maintained.

For more information on how eEye can assist your healthcare business, please click here. Unified Vulnerability Management from eEye has been designed to streamline your processes and provide you the toolsets to make regulatory compliance for healthcare a simple process to follow.

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