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Anything but healthcare next-generation cybersecurity tools will not do

Traditional cybersecurity technologies aren't effective in this day and age, according to a healthcare CIO. Instead of sticking with traditional cybersecurity technologies, said Jon Russell, senior vice president and CIO at John Muir Health in Walnut Creek, Calif., "we've started to look at what we call next-generation security."

Russell said next-generation cybersecurity technologies include microsegmentation and endpoint protection.

For microsegmentation, Russell said John Muir Health is using vArmour "which is helping us with our virtual environment [and] microsegmentation, giving us visibility of traffic flowing east, west, very effectively."

He said that this type of "next-generation technology is allowing us to have visibility into what's happening in our network in ways we haven't in the past."

We've started to look at what we call next-generation security.
Jon Russellsenior vice president and CIO, John Muir Health

For endpoint protection, Russell said they are using Cylance, an AI-based threat prevention technology "which is allowing us to avoid some of the problems we've seen around ransomware."

"[Cylance] actually at the endpoint will stop a ransomware attack from happening," Russell said. "If you have an employer or somebody that's on the inside of your network actually click on a link that has malware in it, it will stop that process instantly or almost instantly before it propagates into your network and those are the kinds of things that you're having to do in regard to ransomware."

Russell added that, in addition to these next-generation cybersecurity detective and defensive technologies, backing up data is also crucial. "We have strategies ... where our systems are always backed up to a medium that is not connected to our network and is stored and we can restore if we have to if something were to happen," he said.

The role of storage in next-generation cybersecurity

"Storage is going to be the primary vector that they're going to attack and you have to make sure that you have a storage strategy," Russell said.

Russell suggests a tiered storage strategy and also a storage strategy that would help a healthcare organization recover from an attack.

"Is it built in such a way that it allows you to have minimal disruption whether it's ... in the cloud in addition to on prem?" Russell said. "How do you back up those systems effectively to make sure that you have as much data as possible in an uncorrupted form?"

However, using cloud storage is not necessarily more secure than on-premises storage and vice versa, Russell said.

"If you're speaking from a purely cybersecurity perspective or a ransomware perspective you need to make sure you have good endpoint protection and then you need to make sure that you have something that is offline that you can recover or restore from that attackers don't have access to," Russell said. "Because if you're exploited it doesn't make any difference what your storage strategy is as far as tiering or cloud or local, you're going to have issues."

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