Security Market Segment LS
Tuesday, 21 February 2017 11:51

VMware, Intel collaborate on healthcare security

VMware, Intel collaborate on healthcare security Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Virtualisation company VMware is collaborating with Intel Health and Life Sciences in an initiative it says is designed to help global healthcare organisations understand the current state of their security readiness.

The two companies say the new initiative also enables organisations to identify safeguard solutions that can be implemented to further reduce risk and improve their security posture.

Under the deal, VMware is offering a new complimentary service that it says enables healthcare IT teams to gain valuable insight into their security posture, compared to the industry, when it comes to breach risk mitigation.

To support the launch of the initiative, VMware cites the Ponemon Institute’s May 2016 Sixth Annual Benchmark Study on Privacy & Security of Healthcare Data which reveals that data breaches in healthcare were “consistently high in terms of volume, frequency, impact, and cost over the past six years”.

VMware says the report noted that upwards of 90% of healthcare organisations experienced a data breach in the past two years, and nearly half had more than five data breaches in the same period.

“The report further suggests that estimates for the cost of breaches in healthcare could exceed US$6 billion, with the average cost of data breaches estimated at more than US$2.2 million, while the average cost to business associates in the study is more than US$1 million.

“The report identified ransomware, malware, and denial-of-service (DoS) attacks as the top cyber threats facing healthcare organisations.”

Frank Nydam, vice-president of healthcare, VMware, says its mission is to “transform the cost, quality and delivery of patient care, and cyber threats are public enemy number one in achieving this objective for our customers.

“With the free healthcare security readiness programme, our goal is to empower our customers with the information they need to tighten their security controls and identify potential security blind spots in a way that is neither time- nor cost-intensive.”

Jennifer Esposito, general manager of Global Health and Life Sciences at Intel, says many breaches, including ransomware and hacking, are opportunistic, “often affecting healthcare organisations that are least prepared”.

“Results of this programme to date show a widespread readiness for healthcare organisations across different types of breaches. Cyber crime hacking readiness results show the least prepared healthcare organisation having only 25% of relevant security capabilities, while the most prepared has 88%. The average cyber crime hacking readiness to date is 59%, showing that the healthcare industry as a whole has much room for improvement in security and risk mitigation.”

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Peter Dinham - an iTWire treasure is a mentor and coach who volunteers also a writer and much valued founding partner of iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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