Securing Healthcare Organizations from Browser-Borne Threats

ILAN PARETSKY on May 10, 2018 | 1

If there’s one thing healthcare organizations have a lot of, it’s data. A hospital network is often home to hundreds of personal, medical and financial records. Unfortunately, there’s nothing a hacker loves more than this kind of valuable data – making healthcare organizations a prime target for cyber-attacks. For a hospital or similar organization, a data breach has a heavy price. Data leakage can result in fines and legal sanctions, while also compromising patient treatment to devastating effect.

To reduce the risk of data breaches, healthcare organizations across the globe are investing in a sound cybersecurity strategy. This is especially important in contemporary facilities, which leverage technology to provide superior patient care. These facilities require particularly rigorous network security systems, as they often rely on cloud-based solutions for a large number of vital activities, including communications between staff and patients; sharing of resources; and continuity of care from remote locations. This is especially relevant when patients are spread out over a large geographical region.

ALYN hospital, a leading facility for the rehabilitation of children with physical, respiratory and developmental disabilities, is a good example. ALYN’s medical teams and therapists adopt an innovative, collaborative approach to healthcare, using technology as one of their fundamental tools. Web-based resources are used regularly, and all medical records are stored digitally so that staff can access them from anywhere. ALYN uses remote, Web-based communication to provide outstanding levels of care. For example, therapists share therapy demonstrations and other resources with patients’ families, teachers and local medical teams, who are scattered over a wide geographical area. Technology enables ALYN’s young patients, many of whom have severe mobility limitations, a chance to integrate socially and maximize their physical and cognitive abilities.

A technology-forward approach, such as the one used by ALYN, requires a strong cyber security strategy to reduce the risk of cyber-attacks, which could expose medical information or, worse, threaten patient wellbeing . To meet this challenge, the skilled, dedicated IT team at ALYN has employed an advanced web infrastructure to protect ALYN’s network, including cluster and data duplication, endpoint protection, email traffic protection, and malware detection. However, even after implementing these systems, the team found they were missing adequate defenses against browser-based threats. To fill this gap, they chose the Ericom Shield Remote Browser Isolation (RBI) solution.

When unexpected or zero-day threats enter through browser-borne code, they often evade detection by traditional solutions such as firewalls and antivirus software. RBI prevents this from occuring. Each browsing session initiated from the hospital network actually takes place on a remote virtual browser, located in a disposable container in the organizational network DMZ – a safe zone outside of the network. Active code is executed inside the container, and the container is destroyed when the session is over to prevent accidental leakage. Instead of relying on detection, the RBI solution simply prevents all browser-executable code from running on the end-user computer, malware or otherwise. This entire process remains completely transparent to the users, who browse the web as normal, without experiencing any significant delays or degradations in performance. In addition, Ericom Shield provides automatic file sanitization capabilities, scanning and cleansing any files that users download from the web.

Thanks to Ericom Shield, staff members at hospitals like ALYN can use Internet resources for research, patient care and management, and communication, freely and confidently, without posing a risk to the hospital network. Today, when cutting-edge technologies are a key part of providing superior patient care, comprehensive cybersecurity measures are essential.

To learn more about ALYN’s story and how RBI can protect your healthcare organization’s networks, click here.

Author | 26 Blog Posts

Ilan Paretsky

Chief Marketing Officer | Ericom Software

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