Nick Semple, healthcare expert at PA Consulting, discusses cyber security and how to enhance IT capabilities through AI and Automation.
The article notes that technology can be instrumental to enhancing the patient experience, improving organizational efficiencies and, most important, saving lives. But ensuring that the data that fuels all of those things is stored, shared and accessed in a manner that is secure and complies with privacy laws is an ongoing challenge for healthcare organizations.
A recent Ponemon report found that 75 percent of providers said their IT security teams are understaffed and that they struggle to attract qualified candidates. On top of that, 90 percent of healthcare organizations have suffered a breach. At the same time, cyberthreats are increasing in frequency and sophistication, in part because stolen medical data is even more valuable on the black market than credit card numbers.
Artificial intelligence, with its ability to automate processes, is emerging as one tool that can help overburdened IT departments. AI can analyze, anticipate, defend against, identify and respond to cyberattacks, viruses and other threats. It can even perform rote but important security tasks such as reminding users to reset their passwords.
Nick says: “In the realm of cybersecurity, IT capabilities can be significantly augmented through intelligent automation. Though there are many ways to use AI to help prevent cyberattacks, the high-level principle is the same: The system monitors for anomalous behavior (intelligence), and immediately blocks it (automation).”
Nick adds: “Organizations are beginning to look at modern device management for their Windows PCs and laptops that can provide secure Azure Active Directory service along with real-time anti-virus protection and security capability. That reduces the need for multiple security products on laptops, ensures settings and configuration and signature files are up to date when logging on, and enables immediate or rapid deployment of patches automatically, as opposed to waiting for internal staff to review and deploy them. That together with user access and multifactor authentication are critical.”
He continues: Another benefit of AI-fueled automation is that it frees up analysts to spend more time on “higher-value activities” such as serving and educating end users and using data analytics to work on projects that can improve efficiency, workflow, and clinical quality.
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