The healthcare sector stands at a crucial crossroads. As it embraces cloud technologies to augment patient care and operational efficiency, the demand for robust, reliable cybersecurity solutions is at an all-time high. The digital healthcare landscape, with sensitive patient data at its core, is complex and unique. This data, now more accessible than ever due to the digital revolution, is also a prime target for cyber threats.
Hence, the healthcare industry grapples with a twofold challenge: harnessing digital technologies to enhance patient outcomes while also safeguarding patient data from ever-evolving cyber threats. This challenge is further intensified by the need to adhere to stringent regulations that govern data privacy and security in the healthcare sector.
In this scenario, the need for industry-specific security solutions that offer comprehensive protection for patient data on the cloud, while maintaining regulatory compliance, is paramount. As we delve deeper into this topic, we will explore the landscape and challenges of healthcare cybersecurity and discuss the essential capabilities that a comprehensive solution should possess to address these challenges effectively. The future of healthcare hinges on our ability to secure it today.
Security challenges in healthcare
The healthcare industry, with its unique blend of technology and patient care, presents a distinctive cybersecurity landscape. The sector is a repository of sensitive patient data, including personal identification information, medical histories and financial details. This data, while crucial for personalized care, is also a prime target for cybercriminals. As healthcare organizations increasingly migrate to cloud technologies, the task of safeguarding this sensitive information becomes even more complex.
Moreover, the healthcare industry is subject to some of the most stringent regulations globally. Laws such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) mandate rigorous data protection measures. Non-compliance can result in severe penalties, both financial and reputational. Therefore, healthcare organizations must ensure that their cybersecurity measures are not only robust but also compliant with these regulations.
To mitigate these challenges, having a robust Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) solution is important. However, implementing a robust IGA solution in the healthcare sector presents its own set of challenges. The IT environment in healthcare is often complex, with a mix of on-premises, cloud and hybrid infrastructures. Integrating an IGA solution with existing systems without disrupting operations is a significant challenge. Scalability is another concern, as the solution must accommodate growing user numbers and IT environments without performance issues or management overhead.
Furthermore, the adoption and change management associated with implementing a new IGA solution can be daunting. Employees need to understand and adopt new processes and best practices. Compliance requirements are continually evolving, necessitating regular updates to the IGA solution. Cost and resource constraints, along with the challenge of finding and retaining experienced IGA professionals, further complicate the situation. In the face of these challenges, it becomes clear that the healthcare industry requires a solution that is not just robust and reliable, but also tailored to its unique needs.
Essential capabilities for a comprehensive solution
Addressing the complex challenges of healthcare cybersecurity requires a solution that goes beyond traditional security measures. It necessitates a comprehensive approach that integrates seamlessly with existing systems, scales effectively and is easy to adopt and manage. Let's explore the key capabilities that such a solution should possess.
A future-ready solution should enable uniform identity governance across the healthcare ecosystem. This includes not just employees, but also third-party entities such as contractors, vendors and even patients. A uniform approach ensures that all identities are managed under a single, consistent framework, reducing the risk of security gaps. Another key part of such a solution is its ability to automate key processes, such as providing access to different modules within products like Epic which maintain the Electronic Health Record (EHR) of patients. Epic has a complex security model with potentially thousands of templates and sub-templates. User access is determined by a combination of templates, sub-templates and SER records, which makes manually administering user accounts for Epic systems a complex and error-prone process. As a result, health systems and hospitals often experience delays in provisioning clinicians into the Epic environment. Hence, an IGA solution for healthcare customers needs to be capable of automatically provisioning of the right levels of access within Epic and enable automated deprovisioning of access when the healthcare professional no longer needs it.
Moreover, the solution should be scalable, capable of accommodating growing user numbers and expanding IT environments without performance issues or management overhead. Scalability ensures that the solution remains effective and efficient as the organization grows.
The healthcare IGA solution must ensure compliance with regulations such as HIPAA and SOX PCI. This includes providing necessary reporting capabilities and adapting to changes in regulations. Compliance is not just about avoiding penalties; it's about ensuring that the organization's data protection measures meet the highest industry standards.
The development and implementation of such solutions are not solitary endeavors. They require strategic partnerships between industry leaders who bring together a deep understanding of healthcare cybersecurity challenges and the technical expertise to address them. One such partnership is that of HCLTech and Saviynt, who have joined forces to focus on providing tailored solutions for the healthcare industry known as Healthcare Identity Cloud (HIC).
Our solutions approach undertakes key activities, such as building the base framework with crucial integrations, implementing Joiner-Mover-Leaver (JML) rules and Segregation of Duties (SOD) policies for various user personas. Additionally, it also manages roles and entitlements while configuring the provisioning of birthright roles. And it further enhances the effectiveness by implementing access request workflows and access certification campaigns to ensure a comprehensive and efficient approach to identity management. By achieving a seamless integration with Epic, HIC helps in faster onboarding of new healthcare professionals and minimizes disruptions for mover scenarios while ensuring the right level of access throughout the lifecycle of the identity of the healthcare professional.
Furthermore, this solution can also be integrated with HCLTech’s core Identity and Access Management accelerators for enhanced outcomes:
- iAccelerate – Rapid application onboarding into Saviynt
- iValidate – Validate and transform file feeds for disconnected apps for further processing in Saviynt
- iAutomate – Automated ticket resolution
Future of healthcare cybersecurity
As we navigate the digital transformation journey in healthcare, the right solution, equipped with the essential capabilities we've discussed, is poised to shape the future of healthcare cybersecurity. This future is not just about protecting sensitive data; it's about enabling healthcare organizations to leverage digital technologies confidently and effectively, knowing that their cybersecurity measures are robust, reliable and compliant with industry standards.
The partnership between HCLTech and Saviynt brings together HCLTech's industry-leading capabilities in Identity and Access Management Services and Saviynt's industry-leading IGA solution – Saviynt Enterprise Identity Cloud. Together, they offer a solution that not only addresses the current challenges of healthcare cybersecurity but is also poised to shape its future.
In conclusion, securing the future of healthcare requires more than just robust cybersecurity measures. It requires strategic partnerships, industry-specific solutions and a commitment to continuous innovation. As healthcare organizations navigate their digital transformation journey, partnerships like that of HCLTech and Saviynt will be crucial in ensuring that this journey is secure, compliant and beneficial for all.