10 outdated security tools that need to be replaced

Among the items in the ‘security graveyard,’ Intermountain CISO Karl West included flat networks, SOC-less security and compliance-only security.
By Jessica Davis
02:51 PM
outdated security tools

Healthcare security is in constant flux. While most organizations recognize the need to involve multiple departments in the security discussion, security work was frequently designated to just one or two people in the past.

On Tuesday, Karl West, Salt Lake City-Intermountain Healthcare CISO broke down the 10 outdated security tools (and viewpoints) used in healthcare and how organizations can replace them.

1. Simple Passwords: Passwords like ‘MD’ or ‘1234’ have gone by the wayside. Passwords (hopefully) have increased in complexity, like 8 to 12 characters and special symbols.

2. Password only: Organizations need to move the single password mentality. West recommended multi-factor authentication, as passwords and PINs are no longer secure.

3. Flat Networks: Flat networks where everything is connected can facilitate a breach. With the amount of people coming through our system and across the environment, networks need to be segmented.

4. Cloudless security: Connected devices like unsecured peripherals and medical devices require an increase in security with the use of cloud security to cover all devices. 

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5. The understanding of perimeter: Particularly with the growth of cloud computing and Internet of Things devices, healthcare organizations need to improve perspective when it comes to security, as all devices are connected to the internet and need to be secured. West suggested white and blacklisting apps, among other methods to create a security perimeter.

6. Compliance ‘only' security: Reliance on compliance to secure an organization’s network is ineffective. Security is more than checking a box. West stressed the need for encryption and the use of analytics to secure all elements.

7. SOC-less security: In 2012, Security Operations Centers were optional. Today, however, a SOC is critical. Because of the analytics and rich data Intermountain harvested, events are detected within two to five minutes. Before, it could take up to five months to discover.

8. The understanding of endpoints: Healthcare used to rely on flip phones with no built-in security, but security was a forethought as they came from the 20th century. Now, hospitals use tech with DLP, Encryption, sandbox tech and other security programs.

9. SIEM-less security: Security information and event management was nonexistent in the past. Now organizations should be moving into the use of data and real-time analytics for security alerts.

10. Going it ‘alone:’ In the past, no one wanted to share information; the sharing of information was like a communicable disease. There is a shift in place, where sharing information is like a frontline defense and a great opportunity as a way to enhance and learn with ‘trusted nerds.’

One of the biggest ways to shift into this new era of security involves the relationships within the organization. In what West called ‘series’ management, he stressed the need for CISOs to work closely with the operations department.

“The relationship with operations is critical to the success of any CISO,” West said. “I create relationships to make security work. Five years ago, this didn’t exist. The security person has never been asked to meet with the CSO or the management community. And today that happens all the time.”

West explained that involves knowing what executives do and do not understand about the technical aspects of security risks.

“If I can explain to them in a few minutes in language they understand,” he continued, “we can be successful at getting funding.” 

Twitter: @JessieFDavis
Email the writer: jessica.davis@himssmedia.com

 The Privacy & Security Forum is happening in Boston, Dec. 5-7, 2016. 
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