How to balance security and performance across your IT systems

Medical records contain very sensitive information such as social security numbers, patient names, dates of birth, etc. which makes them extremely valuable to cybercriminals. According to a Ponemon Institute report, 53% of healthcare facilities say they’ve experienced a data breach in the past two years. And the problem will only get worse. Infosecurity recently reported that the volume of data breaches in the healthcare industry is expected to triple next year, according to a new study from Black Book Market Research.

To protect healthcare data, healthcare organizations are constantly on the cybersecurity defensive. However, security requirements must also be balanced with system performance. “Keeping the system running at peak performance is critical to patient care and satisfaction,” said Don Tierney, ServiceNow’s chief healthcare architect.

While you often feel like you have to sacrifice performance or safety, you don’t. IT operations management and security operations solutions can help healthcare organizations balance the performance and security requirements of their systems.

Better visibility improves security

Managing IT security is much more difficult when the systems are barely or not at all visible. Ransomware and other threats to information security are also on the rise, forcing healthcare organizations more than ever to improve the visibility of traffic movements on their networks.

Automated service mapping, which combines a centralized configuration management database with discovery tools, simplifies and speeds up the mapping of the entire network and provides visibility to all IT teams, including security and compliance operations, on the network. This allows teams to see how all services are provided and when changes are occurring. This visibility enables IT to manage security and performance more effectively.  

Balance between system performance and security

A more secure posture can often go against what it takes to provide optimal clinical and business services. Therefore, balancing security and system performance often becomes a major challenge for the IT department, especially in organizational silos.

As new safety protocols are implemented, they change the system, which can have a ripple effect and ultimately affect the physician’s experience. However, with a centralized platform, both teams can immediately see the business impact of planned changes or outages.

“By ensuring that security and operations use consistent data to have a common view of the service landscape, IT operations and security are consolidated on one page,” Tierney said. He noted that when everything is documented and executed on the same platform, it is easier for IT operations and security teams to quickly identify and resolve system performance issues before They impact doctors or professional users.

Automate workflows to reduce vulnerabilities and increase performance

Another benefit of bringing different IT teams such as security and operations together on a centralized platform is that you can automate important workflows.

For example, an IT operations management platform can help IT teams better manage TLS (Transport Layer Security). Since TLS certificate expiration dates are often managed manually in spreadsheets, it can be easy to overlook future certificate expiration dates. However, this process can be automated with an ITOM platform. The platform can detect all TLS certificates and generate automatic alerts to notify IT operations when a certificate expires. Not only does this help keep your security logs up to date, but it also creates a reliable and compliant environment for doctors and patients to safely interact with your website.

Security and performance matter

Health organizations cannot ignore safety. In 2019 alone, ransomware attacks against healthcare workers increased by 350%, according to a study cited by the HIPAA Journal. However, it is also imperative that the doctor and patient experience remain a priority.

A centralized platform with full network visibility enables the operations team to better optimize the architecture of critical business services, reduce costs, and improve reliability. It also provides security teams with a deeper understanding of the company’s location and security risks to better understand the impact changes can have on the system and how they can affect the security and performance of the company’s system.