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Security in Healthcare

Written by Dominique Côté, Account Technology Strategist at Microsoft Global Partner Solutions

Security in Healthcare

As our healthcare experts focus on the best ways to care for patients, they increasingly rely on technology to assist them. Whenever sensitive and private patient data is involved, obviously security becomes a paramount concern. Meeting both the computing and security needs of healthcare workers is one of the primary focuses of Microsoft.

One of the major challenges is the large variety of different users and requirements. At Microsoft, we segment these users into three different categories:

  1. Knowledge Workers made up of Traditional Information Workers that use desktop PCs and laptops, traditional Windows apps and cloud services and Cloud Information Workers that prefer only cloud-based apps.
  1. Firstline Workers that are either mobile and have simple requirements to use lightweight and web-based devices that are easy to use, deploy and manage or versatile workers that need flexibility and power apps, including support for Office, Windows apps and specialised peripherals.
  1. Temporary Workers made up of project-based contractors who need secure, temporary access to company resources on desktops, laptops and virtual endpoints; short-term seasonal employees hired to meet planned surges in demand and need Windows apps and cloud services; and elastic workers, who are interns, students or trainees who need secure, full-time equivalent access to company resources for a limited time.

 

role specific end user computing needs

As you look at all these different user types – and there could be even more – we see that there are five basic components or pillars that make for an effective user experience.

  • The right Devices to meet the needs of the specific job requirement.
  • An Operating System that is easy to manage, update and use.
  • A Management Solution for a heterogenous device estate, that might also cover personal devices.
  • Endpoint Security that defends against cyberattacks without disrupting productivity.
  • Collaborative Apps that work across all devices.

We believe that the Microsoft 365 ecosystem is the best place to start to meet the needs of all these workers. Within this environment you will find the devices you need, including specialist OEM devices, such as those from Panasonic. You have the Windows 11, or Windows 10 operating systems, which both work with our Secured-Core PCs (Toughbook 55 and Toughbook G2 are certified as Secured-Core PCs), and our endpoint management system called Intune. It’s a cloud-based system that supports devices anywhere and on any operating system. Security is available through our Defender product, available for Windows and Android, and of course we offer collaborative apps such as Teams and Office.

Now this ecosystem is designed to make the lives of both the user and the IT teams easier. It enables the choice to provide the right device to each employee - delivering higher user satisfaction and retention as a result. It ensures good productivity with a simple, yet powerful user experience across different devices and IT infrastructures. It offers smarter ways to collaborate, for example with Microsoft Teams integration. There is consistency with app compatibility and cloud management making adoption easy. And most importantly for the healthcare sector, it’s secure with a zero-trust OS to protect data and access, anywhere.

 

Security at its heart

For ease of use and management, both Windows 11 and Windows 10 devices can co-exist in your organisation, and for the healthcare sector one of the big benefits of using this ecosystem is the security built-in to our Secured-Core PCs. These devices, available through Panasonic, offer almost twice the protection of traditional devices and there are real world examples of this in operation. For example, against WannaCry, the Secured-Core PC helps prevent kernel code from being writable and executable. Virtualisation Based Security is enabled by default on Secured-Core PCs, which helps to protect against the types of attack suffered by trading platform Robinhood that compromised running code or settings. Against Thunderspy attacks, Secured-Core PCs provide extra protection via key features that are enabled by default (Kernel DMA Protection and HVCI).

And one of the great benefits of these devices is that they require no additional effort from your IT team to set-up. When a Secured-Core device is shipped, they are secure by default. There is more good news for those organisations yet to transition to Windows 11. New Secured-Core PCs from Panasonic, such as the TOUGHBOOK 55 or G2, can be purchased with a Windows 11 license, but be delivered with Windows 10 pre-installed, providing the flexibility to upgrade when the time is right for your organisation.

So, to sum it all up, Microsoft believes that the healthcare sector will continue to see different use cases emerging. That users will increasingly need different types of devices and different IT infrastructure and software solutions to meet their needs. There will no longer be one solution that fits all. But in all these different and emerging scenarios, the user and their data must remain secure. Microsoft aims to provide these capabilities right out of the box – whatever the user profile and whatever the computing need.

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