Intrusion Prevention Trumps Detection In Health Care - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


Intrusion Prevention Trumps Detection In Health Care

To ensure that doctors have patient information when they need it, providers do more to safeguard systems.

Many health-care organizations are going beyond firewall and intrusion-detection technologies and counting on intrusion-prevention products to safeguard their systems.

"As a health-care provider, we've increased our security, we have a much better capability to reject worms, viruses that a firewall wouldn't be able to prevent," says Randle Moore, chief information security officer at University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, which runs the IT systems for about 10 ambulatory-care clinics in Texas, as well as computers used by university researchers involved in projects such as clinical trials.

In a health-care environment, potent viruses can inflict tremendous havoc--not just the kind of viruses that make patients sick, but computer viruses that can cripple electronic medical-record and other patient-information systems.

If doctors are unable to access electronic patient records or digital images such as X-rays when treating a patient because of a system crash caused by a worm, virus, or denial-of-service attack, care can be greatly compromised. On top of that, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act requires the protection of patient information.

About two years ago, Moore's organization deployed UnityOne intrusion-protection systems from TippingPoint Technologies Inc. Within a month, when the Sobig.F virus spread through the Houston region for several days, the system blocked more than 1.2 million infected E-mails an hour from entering the university health-science center's systems, Moore says. However, among Sobig.F's victims were parts of the University of Texas that hadn't deployed the intrusion-prevention product, he says.

Since then, the TippingPoint system has blocked millions more potentially dangerous intrusions from entering the health-science center's network. "Our doctors can't be blocked from getting to the clinical information that they need," Moore says.

Traditionally, universities have been more vulnerable to viruses and other security problems than commercial companies, says Andy Salo, TippingPoint's director of product management. They have large populations of student users and systems that can log on to their networks yet aren't under the control of IT organizations, he says.

That also makes teaching medical centers whose systems are connected to university networks potentially more vulnerable to intrusions like viruses, he says.

TippingPoint in October will begin shipping to customers in all industries the UnityOne-100E intrusion-protection system, which includes advanced denial-of-service protection and performs at 100 Mbps.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
Who Should Own RPA?
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  2/18/2020
IT Salary Report 2020: Get Paid What You Are Worth
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  2/12/2020
10 Analytics and AI Startups You Should Know About
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  2/19/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
IT Careers: Tech Drives Constant Change
Advances in information technology and management concepts mean that IT professionals must update their skill sets, even their career goals on an almost yearly basis. In this IT Trend Report, experts share advice on how IT pros can keep up with this every-changing job market. Read it today!
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll