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    The hustle and bustle of activity at hospitals is 24/7.

    Radiologic technologists performing mammograms. Surgeons repairing fractured wrists and hands.   

    Ambulances rolling up to emergency departments, with patients in need. Paramedics transporting patients to rooms while updating nurses and other staff.    

    Nurses and doctors dash from one patient to the next in the emergency room. Taking vitals. Entering information into the electronic health record (EHR) system. Transporting patients for MRIs and other testing. 

    Time is critical. And so is access to patient data and the devices that host it. 

    But for hospital IT and security professionals, this equipment and data make up a complex attack surface to protect. In fact, modern hospitals have about 10 to 15 connected devices per patient bed. Now imagine safeguarding all of this for hundreds of patients. Ensuring the hospital IT environment is running 24/7. Enabling fast and efficient patient care. 

    It’s a lot. 

    The complexities in the healthcare attack surface

    Cyberattacks targeting healthcare organizations nearly doubled from 2020 to 2021. A Sophos report found that 66% were hit by ransomware attacks in 2021, up from 34% in 2020.  

    As hospital IT environments become more complex, traditional IT asset management methods are struggling to keep up. 

    Hospital security and IT teams are already stretched thin managing the sprawl of devices, cloud services, software, and users. Spreadsheets and other manual approaches to conducting an asset inventory are time-consuming (like, 86 hours!) and error-prone. With the continuous changes to cybersecurity — and healthcare — environments, the information collected is often obsolete by the time the asset inventory is wrapped up. 

    This only makes it more difficult to have asset visibility. Without understanding what assets are in their IT environment, security and IT professionals struggle to mitigate threats, navigate risk, and decrease incidents. 

    The role of CAASM in modern hospital settings

    The attack surfaces (both internal and external) in hospital settings are vastly complex. As threats advance and environments evolve, protecting these attack surfaces from threat actors gets harder every day.

    One step in the right direction? An accurate asset inventory.

    Cybersecurity asset management solutions help by showing a unified view of all assets, user accounts, vulnerabilities, and more. By connecting to the existing security and IT tools teams already have have, CAASM solutions provide much-needed visibility into what’s happening in the attack surface by:

    • Collecting and correlating data about assets to create a complete view of all devices 
    • Identifying managed and unmanaged devices
    • Discovering security gaps, devices missing agents, and other vulnerabilities
    • Developing and issuing automated responses when an user or a device deviates from a security policy
    And then there’s network segmentation. Security and IT teams can track where devices now reside — and who has access to them — in a hospital’s IT environment. For example, teams may have a bunch of systems, like a check-in kiosk and patient scheduling on the same network. But by having  public-facing systems on a different network, there are more security layers because only certain users can access specific systems. 

    Through a modern approach to asset management, security and IT professionals in the healthcare industry can keep on-pace with the rate of change to their attack surface. They’ll have an always up-to-date inventory for a single source of truth. 

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