The most dangerous threats to your organization are the ones you can’t see or stop.

Cybercrime is on the rise—and the healthcare industry is particularly vulnerable because of the value of the data. Devices and data are growing by the second, creating incredible complexity and a dynamic threat landscape. No wonder 76% of IT professionals say visibility is their greatest challenge.

To help bring this issue—and its solutions—to life, HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) created the Cybersecurity Hub. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, the newly unveiled 30,000 square-foot exhibit takes visitors inside the journey of electronic health data to illustrate points of vulnerability. As risks are uncovered, tools to help prevent or mitigate the problem are revealed. It’s truly a one-of-a-kind, immersive learning experience.

At Cisco, we think it’s a brilliant initiative—so much so that we’ve become the first collaborator-level sponsor of the HIMSS Cybersecurity Hub. It’s a natural partnership: Just like HIMSS, we’re passionate about healthcare cybersecurity. We understand what’s at stake for our healthcare customers, and we agree that solutions to cybercrime start with visualizing the threat.

We know that to protect the important—often life-and-death—work of healthcare, organizations must not only gain enterprise-wide visibility but also develop proactive defense strategies. Security must be everywhere, spanning the enterprise network, data center, cloud, mobile, and endpoints. And it can’t be just an afterthought; security must be integrated into every process and every technology.

“We know the bad guys are targeting any device on the inside of healthcare organizations to access protected health information, or PHI, for extortion via ransomware or to sell on the black market,” says Andrew Peters, senior manager, Security Marketing, Cisco.  “Our integrated solutions allows healthcare security to identify, segment and protect medical and other IoT devices and data from both internet and internally-born threats.”

When we design security solutions, we’re guided by three basic principles: It must be open (for seamless interoperability), automated (to work fast and minimize manual processes), and simple (for easy implementation). Those are the benefits baked into products like Cisco Umbrella for ransomware protection and Cisco Medical NAC for medical-device and PHI security. As a leader in the security space, we’re constantly analyzing the environment and creating solutions to help our customers stay one step ahead of attackers.

The healthcare industry is at an inflection point of digital disruption, and the possibilities are endless. But to truly reap the rewards of this exciting transformation, we must start with a foundation of security built right into the network. Only then can the healthcare industry move with greater speed, efficiency, and agility, as well as achieve goals like reduced costs, new service delivery models, and a successful shift to new reimbursement models. And let’s not forget the patients and their families—they, too, can benefit from a better experience and improved outcomes.

If you’re looking to understand and address the security issues facing healthcare, the HIMSS Cybersecurity Hub is a great place to start. We’re proud to support this initiative and look forward to continuing our long-standing support of HIMSS. If you’re in the Cleveland area, do yourself a favor and check it out. In the meantime, we’ll be at the HIMSS17 conference – see you there!


Barbara Casey

Senior Executive Director, Healthcare

Americas Business Transformation