By Monique Lucey, HP Networking Group Industry Solutions Marketing
Many healthcare providers are enticed by the idea of allowing caregivers, administrators and patients to use their own tablet computers, notebooks and smartphones to access healthcare resources. However, they are concerned about the security risks—and the impact on IT operations.
Healthcare is mobile
Healthcare is inherently a mobile work environment. And putting the most up-to-date information into clinician’s fingertips throughout all stages of the healthcare delivery process saves time, reduces error and ultimately improves health outcomes.
Physicians in particular have embraced the idea of using tablets and other mobile devices in their daily routines. The ability to view patients’ medical records, test results and scans is a huge time-saver. And the ability to quickly check medical and drug-interaction databases can literally be the difference between life and death.
Over the past few months, I have been in the unenviable position of having a family member and some close friends endure physical impairments and battle cancer. With the support of their loved ones, each of them has taken to tablets, notebooks and other mobile devices to serve as their window to the outside world as they await care, test results and procedures. These devices provide access not only to entertainment but to a multitude of health resources arming them with more information than ever before.
With an influx of users opting to bring their own devices, is your network prepared for the increase in activity? Not only will your network require adequate bandwidth, but it will also need tough security measures in place. To stay on top of this trend, consider the following: network access controls and campus LANs.
Stay secure with NACs
Security is a top priority at healthcare organizations, where patient privacy is paramount. At the same time, medical information can be a treasure trove of Social Security numbers, credit card details and other valuable data for cyber-criminals.
Security breaches can tarnish a healthcare provider’s reputation and cost immeasurable goodwill. It could also put the organization at risk of running afoul of regulations in the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).Credit and debit card transactions must also be protected under the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) requirements.
The right network access control (NAC) can help ensure that user devices have the necessary security software and updates before they're allowed access to your network. It can also enforce policies for personal devices, like blocking access to specific services or sites.
Stay agile with campus LANs
Mobility can drive new levels of patient care, but when legacy networks are pushed to the limit, they become fragile, difficult to manage, vulnerable and expensive to operate. Healthcare providers whose networks are at this breaking point risk missing the next wave of opportunity.
HP FlexCampus, a building block of the FlexNetwork architecture, allows healthcare providers to converge and secure wired and wireless LANs to deliver consistent, identity-based network access that is ideal for bandwidth intensive medical applications and media-rich collaboration applications. And FlexManagement, another building block of FlexNetwork, converges network management and orchestration, across the campus and data center. Healthcare providers deploying FlexCampus gain a secure, flexible and agile campus LAN infrastructure that can support users’ BYOD demands by exceeding speed and bandwidth requirements to ensure end user satisfaction and eliminate downtime.
How is your organization preparing for BYOD?
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