“Massive breach at….”  You can fill in the blank, right? 

The first quarter of 2015 has just come to a close and we find ourselves, once again, breaking records in the realm of data breaches with Anthem reporting 78.8M individuals affected in Feb. ’15 and the Premera Blue Cross breach affecting 11M in March.  Last fall, the FBI warned that hackers would continue to target healthcare because, according to Reuters, the value of health data is worth 10 times more than credit card data on the black market.  In late December 2014, Experian released their Data Breach Forecast, predicting a $5.6 billion price tag for healthcare breaches this year.  Will it be that bad?  Looks to me that, at the very least, we’re heading in that direction!

Why is our industry under attack?  Two words: Big Data. 

Healthcare is ripe with huge amounts of PII.  Secondly, healthcare as an industry is still quite clumsy with identifying breaches.  In 2014, the Ponemon Institute reported the average time to detect a malicious cyber-crime was 170 days, with the average costs of such events ranging from $1.6m- $61M.  Easy target, ridiculously poor detection rates, coupled with huge amounts of high-value data—DING, DING- huge payoff for criminals.

Is there time for innovation in healthcare or any industry with these huge challenges?  Well, we’d better make the time!

As a result of the immense challenges facing healthcare systems worldwide, innovation in healthcare has quickly become one of the most important issues and initiatives for senior healthcare executives and clinical professionals alike.  In reality though, many organizations are stuck in a Groundhog Day-like existence, unable to break out of the mold of the everyday issues and firefights.  The result is a healthcare system where innovation becomes silenced and that is never given an opportunity to flourish.

The best healthcare systems are inherently flexible, allowing them to deal with fast-paced changes that arise unexpectedly and inconsistently. While no IT organization, in the long run, is in control of the healthcare delivery, the most effective systems adapt successfully to technological and scientific advances.  Just as R&D is the foundation for progress in medical delivery, IT organizations must embrace the opportunity to empower their respective organizations through the use of strategic and innovative solutions.

When we talk about innovative solutions, let’s throw an emerging technology into the mix.

What about The IoT (Internet of Things)? Destined to put any organization into a tailspin, this multi-trillion dollar industry will affect all sectors, with healthcare sitting at the top of the list. As if we didn’t have enough security holes already, IoT is poised to make Swiss cheese of security risk. While providing amazingly fun and convenient gadgets, security seems to have been an afterthought by their makers.

How can we protect our environments yet meet the business challenges through innovation and more efficient, sophisticated solutions?

Citrix provides an ideal solution for taking healthcare organizations to the next level of innovation, security and compliance. The rich product offering allows organizations to support meaningful use initiatives by enabling a wide-range of access and collaboration capabilities, freeing medical staff from the nursing pods and allowing for better quality of care at the patient bedside. Images, labs and other diagnostics are at the medical professional’s fingertips anywhere, any time, on any device. All the while, it all remains secure and adheres to compliance mandates (I.e. FDA, FISMA and HIPAA). Most importantly, it leverages Citrix positions organizations to evolve their operations and embrace the vast scientific and technological developments in areas such as genomics, RFID, telemedicine, and IoT.

Attend Citrix Synergy 2015 session SYN115 and learn how leveraging solutions such as XenDesktop, XenApp, XenMobile and NetScaler can help your organization better secure its data, improve operations and better meet the needs of the business; all the while creating a happier and more productive workforce.

Connie Barrera, CISO has more than 24 years of experience in the IT industry.  As the CISO she is responsible for developing policy and standards and security architecture for the enterprise. Connie holds the following certifications: MCP, MCSE, CCNA, CCM, CCA, CRISC, CISA, CISSP, ISA, PCIP and CCP-M. She has been a presenter at leading industry events including Citrix Synergy since 2011. Follow her on Twitter: @conniebarrera1

Citrix invited the author of this blog post to present at Citrix Synergy 2015 and to participate in a related contest.  The author received an entry into the contest for submitting this Blog.

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