By Eric Hyman, vice president of corporate and product marketing, GTT.
Telehealth and telemedicine have made rapid advancements in the past few years. However, while these advancements greatly improved access to healthcare services, they’ve also created a new avenue of attack for cybercriminals looking for valuable personal data or just to cause chaos.
A report by Omdia found that there has been an increase in cyberattacks on enterprises since 2020 across network applications, public and private clouds as well as fixed and mobile endpoints. The healthcare sector is experiencing the same too; healthcare organizations in the U.S. faced record-high cyberattacks impacting over 45 million patients last year.
One crucial solution to protect healthcare organizations against cyberattacks is Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), a framework first coined in 2019 that promises a better and more secure integration of software-defined networking and cloud-based security. The SASE framework provides advanced visibility, flexible connectivity, network reliability, application-aware routing, enterprise-grade security, and advanced protection for today’s rapidly expanding and evolving healthcare networks. It’s critical that forward-thinking healthcare security leaders understand what makes SASE such a vital tool to curb modern cyber threats and how to ensure proper deployments that help to keep their organization and its patients safe.
In 2020, many healthcare companies were forced to explore telehealth and telemedicine options. This meant that IT and security teams suddenly had to securely connect doctors and nurses while they provided services online, and everyone had to move applications for managing sensitive health data to the cloud. This created a need for sophisticated security measures to keep patients’ records safe and ensure patient care wouldn’t be interrupted. This is when healthcare IT began to understand the SASE framework as an indispensable part of any post-pandemic cybersecurity strategy.
SASE integrates powerful network capabilities including software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN) with a robust collection of security tools such as firewall-as-a-service , secure web gateway , zero-trust network access , and cloud access security broker. It supports organizations in setting and automating network and security policy, including secure, individualized, accelerated access to the cloud resources – especially critical for the healthcare sector. Each of these tools have evolving feature roadmaps that continue to address ever-changing threat actor behaviors and the changing needs of healthcare companies and their mission-critical applications.