From the inside and out, companies are facing increasing security demands. Not only do they need to protect resources from improper access, they also need to make these same resources readily accessible by the proper people. For Baptist Health, a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award-winning healthcare organization in the southern United States with over 5,000 employees, balancing these demands was a business-critical mission.
Internally, companies want to ensure their information resources are utilized as efficiently as possible by their employees, and that company time is well spent. Additionally, healthcare organizations are obligated to comply with external demands such as government regulations, most recently in the form of HIPAA (Healthcare Information Portability and Accountability Act) guidelines. HIPAA requires that healthcare organizations ensure that medical information is kept private, accessible, and viewable only by those parties who are appropriate and entitled.
Protecting patient data while ensuring data accessibility when needed
For many reasons, protecting patient confidentially is of critical importance and now, by law through HIPAA regulations, health-care organizations must protect the privacy of patient medical information.
At the same time, these same organizations must make patient medical information readily available to the proper medical staff and professionals in order to conduct business both safely and reliably. “We perform many file transfers with our partners,” says Scott Huie, Senior Network Analyst with Baptist Health, “and it is imperative that our information remain secure.” In addition to protecting company resources, Baptist Health wants to maximize the productivity of its staff, and protect the company from improper conduct on work premises. Ensuring productivity, preserving bandwidth, and limiting legal liability is very important to Baptist Health, and the company has developed an internal Internet usage policy to ensure that these objectives are met.
Secure email access, meeting web access needs
To address its business challenges and enforce the Internet usage policy, Baptist Health turned to a combination of McAfee Firewall Enterprise (Sidewinder) and McAfee SmartFilter from McAfee’s Network Security Business Unit (formerly Secure Computing).
Today, Baptist Health relies on McAfee Firewall Enterprise to protect sensitive patient data, and McAfee SmartFilter to enforce the company’s Internet usage policy. “We are doing more and more business over the Internet each day. Securing our network and especially our email access is very important—and McAfee Firewall provides this secure access. McAfee SmartFilter works as advertised, and meets our internal web access needs,” says Huie.
Robust perimeter defense and enforcement of Internet usage policies
Baptist Health uses McAfee Firewall Enterprise as its Internet firewall to provide perimeter defense for its 3,000 users. Baptist Health was particularly impressed with McAfee’s SecureOS, especially compared to other competing firewalls that run on general purpose operating systems, which makes them vulnerable to attack. McAfee Firewall Enterprise’s SecureOS and Type Enforcement technology provide protection against many levels of attack that other alternatives simply cannot provide.
We wanted a proxy-type firewall and purchased McAfee Firewall Enterprise because of its Type Enforcement technology. The firewall/OS integration makes it the most secure firewall available.Scott Huie
Senior Network Analyst, Baptist Health
“We purchased McAfee Firewall Enterprise because of its Type Enforcement technology. The firewall/OS integration makes it the most secure firewall available,” says Huie.
SmartFilter’s blocking feature prevents Baptist Health employees from accessing restricted sites, which allows the company to easily to enforce its Internet Usage Policy. And SmartFilter’s Control List — with millions of URLs updated twice weekly — makes it easy for Baptist Health to manage its lists of restricted and non-restricted sites.
Underscoring the effectiveness of the McAfee solutions is the quality of the support that Baptist Health has received. Concludes Huie, “McAfee support is outstanding.”