The Security vs. Usability Challenge Facing Healthcare Organisations

Today’s NHS Trusts face a significant and growing challenge.

With physician mobility and BYOD usage on the rise, and new smart medical and monitoring devices proliferating, security is increasingly top of mind for IT and information security leaders.

On the one hand, all these new connected devices and users increases the potential number of attack vectors available to cybercriminals who are intent on penetrating networks to take control of hospital systems and data.

On the other, care givers and physicians need fast and easy access to systems and patient records so that they can get on with the business of taking care of patients. And in a medical health emergency, that access needs to be near instantaneous.

It’s a delicate balancing act between usability and security that’s becoming increasingly complex as more users work remotely from multiple sites, new models of care like telehealth take off, the IT systems supporting care delivery multiply, and a growing number of Trust services are delivered via the cloud.

Allowing users and devices to securely connect to the network is now a must have. But orchestrating everything in an adaptable way that assures safe and secure workspaces while boosting operational effectiveness without compromise is becoming an increasingly challenging proposition for today’s resource stretched IT teams.

It’s the reason why NHS Trusts are increasingly adopting zero-trust security approaches to prevent unauthorised access to their environments and improve security.

And why they are utilising identity and access management (IAM) tools and processes to enable robust identity-driven security that makes it easy to automate and control access to applications, systems, and resources.

After all, nothing frustrates clinicians and admin teams more than having to figure out where they need to go to log into each system they use. After which, they have to try to recall and apply a plethora of different passwords to gain access to each and everyone.

However, managing the fine balancing act between usability and security is just the tip of the iceberg. Which is why today’s NHS Trusts now need to go beyond initiating capabilities like single sign-on or federated identity and access management and automation models to ensure the right people have the right access to the right resources – for the right amount of time – to do their job.

Because foundational security – and cybersecurity specifically – begins with the network itself.

To find out more, why not download our Cybersecurity in Healthcare paper to discover why a multi-layered security strategy is the key to hardening defences and keeping information systems secure and counteracting increasingly sophisticated and targeted cyber threats.