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Discover Why a Managed Firewall is Crucial for Healthcare Security

Healthcare organizations handle extremely sensitive data, which requires a high level of cybersecurity measures to be in place. A foundational element of any healthcare organization’s cybersecurity infrastructure should be a managed firewall. Patient data, including medical records, personal information, and payment details, are highly valuable to cybercriminals. A firewall acts as a first line of defense against potential breaches, preventing unauthorized access to these critical assets.

Firewalls are essentially a protective barrier between a healthcare organization’s internal network and the external world, monitoring and controlling incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules. They also prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to the network, reducing the risk of data breaches, and complying with data protection regulations. While using a firewall is an essential aspect of healthcare cybersecurity, the question becomes whether it’s more beneficial to manage it in-house or opt for a managed firewall service. There are significant benefits to opting for a firewall managed by an IT services provider, which we will outline in this blog.

What is a Managed Firewall?

Firewalls have long been the front line of defense in network security, but not all firewalls are created equal. A managed firewall is a network security solution provided by a third-party managed services provider. One of the key benefits of a managed firewall is that it is configured, managed, monitored, and maintained by security experts. Instead of having to handle all the intricacies of a firewall in-house, a managed services provide manages it on your behalf, freeing up your healthcare employees to focus on more mission critical activities.

9 Reasons to Choose a Managed Firewall

To safeguard patient data and maintain the integrity of an organization’s healthcare system, deploying a managed firewall has become an imperative to defend against healthcare data breaches. We will cover the key reasons every healthcare organization should opt for a managed firewall over maintaining one in-house.

Gain Expert Management and Oversight

Cybersecurity threats are constantly evolving, and the healthcare industry is a large target due to the sensitive data healthcare providers work with. As a primary target, healthcare organizations must have up-to-date knowledge and expertise of the present threats. By using a managed firewall through a managed services provider, you gain access to cybersecurity professionals who specialize in firewall management. These experts stay on top of the latest threats and security technologies, ensuring that your firewall is always up-to-date and capable of defending against emerging threats. In contrast, managing a firewall in-house may require substantial investments in hiring and training cybersecurity staff to maintain the same level of expertise.

Avoid Firewall Misconfigurations and Mistakes

Having a managed firewall that is properly configured, monitored, and maintained can mean the difference between a breach and blocking malicious traffic. According to Gartner, 99% of firewall breaches are caused by misconfigurations, not firewall flaws. Using a managed firewall helps healthcare organizations avoid misconfigurations because their firewall is setup and maintained by a team of experts.

Comply with Regulatory Standards

Healthcare organizations are subject to numerous regulatory standards, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which many require strict security measures to protect patient data. Failure to comply with these standards can result in severe penalties and reputational damage. A managed firewall helps healthcare organizations adhere to regulatory compliance with less burden. With security features, such as traffic filtering, threat detection, and access control, managed firewalls contribute to maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of patient information. This helps organizations avoid compliance violations and demonstrates their commitment to protecting sensitive data.

Get 24/7 Monitoring and Support

Just as healthcare emergencies can occur at the most inopportune moments, so can cyberattacks. By choosing a managed firewall, you gain continuous monitoring and 24/7 support to ensure suspicious activity is detected and addressed promptly. A managed firewall analyzes patterns and behaviors to identify anomalies that might indicate a cyberattack. Prompt detection enables quick mitigation, limiting the potential damage and reducing downtime. In-house management may struggle to provide this level of round-the-clock protection, leaving potential gaps in security during off-hours.

Safeguard Medical Devices

With the advent of Internet of Things (IoT) technology, numerous medical devices are now interconnected, enabling real-time monitoring and seamless data exchange. However, these interconnected devices pose significant security risks. A managed firewall can create secure segments or virtual private networks (VPNs) for different medical devices, effectively isolating them from the rest of the network and preventing unauthorized access or tampering.

Enhance Network Performance

Managed firewalls not only enhance security but also optimize network performance. By controlling traffic flow, firewalls prevent unnecessary bandwidth consumption, ensuring critical medical applications operate smoothly without interference. This improves overall network efficiency, reducing latency and improving response times, ultimately benefiting patient care and staff productivity.

Reduce Costs

While there are costs associated with outsourcing firewall management, they are often more predictable and affordable than building an in-house team. Investing in hardware, software licenses, training, and ongoing maintenance can quickly become a significant financial burden. Managed firewall providers offer flexible pricing models, allowing healthcare organizations to pay only for the services they need. They can also leverage their economies of scale to provide better pricing on hardware and software, reducing upfront costs.

Increase Scalability and Flexibility

As your healthcare organization grows or experiences fluctuations in network traffic, your firewall needs may change. Scaling and adjusting an in-house firewall to accommodate these changes can be time-consuming and require significant expertise. Managed firewall services provide the flexibility to adapt to your evolving needs seamlessly. Whether it’s increasing bandwidth, adding new locations, or implementing additional security features, a managed services provider can quickly scale and reconfigure your firewall to meet the demands of your healthcare organization.

Focus on Core Competencies

Managing a firewall in-house can be a distraction from managing your healthcare operations. By outsourcing firewall management to a trusted service provider, you can free up valuable internal resources and focus on your organization’s primary goals and objectives. This allows your IT team to concentrate on strategic initiatives while leaving the complex and time-consuming task of firewall management to the experts.

TPx Can Help Protect Your Network with Managed Firewalls

The healthcare industry faces constant cybersecurity threats, with potentially dire consequences for patient safety and organizations’ reputations. TPx’s Managed Firewall solution can help healthcare organizations fortify their network security and protect against the ever-evolving threat landscape. By continuously monitoring network traffic and detecting potential threats, TPx’s Managed Firewall solution provides a robust defense against cyberattacks. Contact a TPx representative today to learn how our Managed Firewall solution can help keep your healthcare organization secure.

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