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Extreme Networks Releases HIPAA-Compliant Network Management

Extreme Networks announces the release of new network management option at HIMSS17 to ensure HIPAA-compliance.

Source: Thinkstock

By Elizabeth O'Dowd

- Extreme Networks announced the release of an optional network management add-on to its ExtremeManagement product portfolio, helping healthcare organizations stay HIPAA compliant for mission-critical networks.

Announced at HIMSS17, the Information Governance Engine is a management option that allows IT administrators to understand how network changes could impact HIPAA compliance. The level of visibility offered by Information Governance Engine gives IT administrators the ability to enforce required standards, as well as internal rules and regulations unique to an organization.

The solution aims to replace manual network compliance processes, which are often prone to human error. Information Governance Engine is an automated and repeatable solution that will save organizations time having to monitor each device connection.

"Healthcare CISOs and CIOs are accountable for their organization's compliance to HIPAA and PCI standards, and failure to demonstrate such compliance can leave organizations vulnerable to financial and reputational risk,” Frost & Sullivan Senior Vice President of Transformational Health Greg Caressi said in a statement.

The solution delivers automated HIPAA and user-defined compliance assessments targeted at healthcare CISOs and CIOs that show where network maintenance is needed to secure the IT infrastructure.

Information Governance Engine collects documentation and evidence of measurable security and compliance improvements so IT administrators can keep track of changes as the network expands and becomes more complex.

By automating the process, Information Governance Engine saves IT administrators from conducting lengthy manual assessments. It also reduces risk by performing more frequent network assessments.

Healthcare organizations are faced with many challenges when it comes to securing a wireless network. Organizations often have a difficult time gaining enough visibility to have full control over the network.

Automated network management systems reduce the risk of unsecure and harmful connections gaining access to the network without having to monitor the solution.

The growth of connected medical devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) can overwhelm IT administrators monitoring a network. The more devices connecting to the network, the more difficult it is to tell if a single device falls out of compliance due to it malfunctioning or being hacked.

"With the proliferation of network enabled devices within businesses as well as an ever-changing threat landscape, the ability to quickly identify devices that fall out of compliance with organizational security standards is of critical importance,” Interfaith Medical Center Director of Infrastructure Christopher Frenz said in a statement. “The ability to correlate this data with SIEM data would provide a highly beneficial way for organizations to give their security operations center better insights into how their network can be defended."

Visibility and control are key to every healthcare network infrastructure. As organizations plan for more IoT devices, more network systems will be added. Health IT infrastructures need to be assessed and designed based on the needs of IoT devices and the increased number of connections expected in the future.

IoT security is a concern for all industry verticals because IoT devices are not always easy to identify and secure. Vendors are making an effort to create standardized security protocols so organizations can better understand IoT security requirements.

Earlier this month, IBM, Nokia, AT&T, Palo Alto Networks, Symantec, and Trustonic announced the formation of the IoT Cybersecurity Alliance to research better ways to secure an IoT ecosystem and help solve IoT security challenges.

"The explosive growth in the number of IoT devices is only expected to continue; therefore, so must the associated cybersecurity protections,” AT&T Senior Vice President of Advanced Solutions Mo Katibeh said in a statement. "Today's businesses are connecting devices ranging from robots on factory floors to pacemakers and refrigerators. Helping these organizations stay protected requires innovation across the whole IoT ecosystem to enable sustainable growth."

As medical technology continues to advance, the number of connected devices will grow in relation, driving the need for automated network security solutions to ensure devices are connected and operating properly.


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