The past 14 months have tested IT and security teams like never before. The healthcare industry faced some of the greatest challenges as they worked to support patients and healthcare workers while dealing with a new way of working.
Axonius partnered with Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) to survey 500 IT and security professionals from around the world to see how the pandemic-induced remote work impacted IT complexity and reshaped security priorities. We found a number of asset management trends impacting healthcare IT and security teams.
Trend No. 1: IT Complexity Is on the Rise
Survey respondents were asked to compare their current IT environments to two years ago. While 72% of respondents across industries reported increased complexity in their environments, nearly two-thirds of healthcare industry respondents also reported a rise in complexity as a result of the pandemic.
Though an increase in remote working was a key driver of complexity, healthcare teams were equally likely to report other factors, like changing regulations, increased use of public cloud infrastructure, and increase in the use of IT sanctioned applications.
This makes sense when thinking about the pivot healthcare organizations had to make to support patients throughout the pandemic. The CDC reported a 154% increase in telemedicine appointments in 2020 when compared with the same period in 2019. As the calendar turned to 2021, vaccine appointment and tracking tools became more prevalent. Healthcare IT teams rolled these out while adhering to HIPAA privacy regulations.
Trend No. 2: Asset Visibility Remains a Challenge
Our report found that a majority of the respondents across industries reported gaps between what they can see about their assets compared to what they would like to be able to see. This visibility gap was consistent across end-user devices, cloud assets, and IoT devices.
Healthcare IT and security teams were more likely to report visibility gaps across the board.
Asset visibility is of utmost importance for IT and security teams. Our report found that organizations that eliminated visibility gaps saw a reduction in security incidents.
Trend No. 3: IAM Gains New Importance
With an increase in device diversity, IT and security teams are putting more focus on identity and access management (IAM) solutions. Sixty-five percent of respondents said that IAM policy enforcement was more challenging as a result of supporting remote workers.
Healthcare respondents were more than twice as likely (31% vs. 14%) to report that IAM policy enforcement is significantly more difficult.
As organizations establish a new normal, offering workers new flexibility to use non-corporate, personal devices, more policy evolution is expected – along with additional focus on direct-to-cloud solutions.
Download the healthcare version of the “Cybersecurity Asset Management Trends 2021: How the Rapid Shift to Remote Work Impacted IT Complexity and Post-pandemic Security Priorities” report to take a deep dive into how the pandemic impacted IT complexity and reshaped security priorities.