Zero Trust and Shared Services for Healthcare
The healthcare sector is currently facing a host of challenges when it comes to technology and care delivery. Healthcare bodies are attempting to maximise efficiency, control equipment status and enable access to patient data across organisations for better integration of care. However, the issues of cost pressures and the rising risk of cybercrime are making those objectives increasingly difficult to achieve.
Indeed, security is becoming a major issue for the NHS and other bodies, as more and more cybercriminals gain awareness of how valuable patient data can be. The National Cyber Security Centre has found that in 2022 alone, there were more than 1400 phishing campaigns mimicking the NHS, designed to fool the public into sharing sensitive information. Not only can data breaches cause service disruption to care providers and severe emotional distress to patients, but it can also have major financial ramifications for both parties.
It’s clear that a new approach to services and security is needed in order to gain maximum protection without breaking the bank. But what does that new approach look like?
Key challenges for healthcare organisations
Healthcare organisations naturally handle highly sensitive and personal data, and that data is now being used in an increasing number of places. Whether it’s through integrated care across multiple organisations, or the use of Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) devices, the potential attack surface of this data is expanding at a rapid rate.
That’s why strong cybersecurity is more important in healthcare than ever before. However, a number of headwinds are making the implementation of any improvements easier said than done:
Using Zero Trust for healthcare shared services
One cost-effective way of enhancing security provision in a more flexible world of work is to adopt shared services. This is where many back-office operations are consolidated into a central hub, used by many different departments. These shared services have already been implemented by central government in a number of areas, but their value is even more apparent in an era of financial constraints, rising security threats, and increased use of the cloud from remote locations.
From a security perspective, instead of each department investing in its own security provision, they can all contribute to a much stronger shared solution, which provides better protection for a lower outlay by each department. However, this should also come in conjunction with a new approach to security, one that protects all data, systems and applications, however, wherever and whenever they are accessed.
That approach is Zero Trust, where all access and usage is assumed malicious until it can be proved otherwise through the use of authentication and verification tools. It’s a philosophy that is gaining traction with governments around the world, including in the United States, where the use of a federal Zero Trust architecture strategy has been mandated by 2024.
Zero Trust means that complete control over access and authorisation can be provisioned and monitored across all data, systems and applications. This allows remote workers, operating outside the traditional network infrastructure and security framework, to be productive through easy access – without any risk of unauthorised users gaining access at the same time.
How SCC can help
SCC has decades of experience working with central government bodies to keep all their technology and digital information secure. We’re in tune with the evolution of the digital world, across both the public and private sectors, and have developed a suite of Zero Trust solutions for shared services with modern challenges in mind. These include:
Traditional perimeter-based security strategies are proving increasingly unfit for purpose, given the rising threat of cybercrime and the severe ramifications of a data breach, especially in a sensitive environment like healthcare. The combination of Zero Trust and shared services represents the best way forward, not only to address potential threats and safeguard patient data, but also to enable modern, integrated care for better patient outcomes.