case studies

Medical device security is more important than ever: how one manufacturer answered the call

Is your patient data protected?

For many industries, compliance becomes a trickier issue every year.  New regulations like GDPR and CCPA, in recent years, have joined HIPAA in requiring companies to meet certain standards to protect their customers’ personal data. 

Meeting these requirements was a major goal for a Medical Device Manufacturer (MDM) with thousands of employees and customers worldwide.  The recently updated FDA guidelines from 2016 created even more privacy laws for the nearly century-old company to follow.  Personal health information (PHI) is, after all, a critical component of healthcare operations, as well as a tempting target to hackers.  These laws are designed with this truth in mind.  As such, the MDM made protecting their patient data and adhering to all pertinent privacy regulations a top priority

Unfortunately, this is no easy task, and after more than a year and half of searching, the firm was still unable to find a solution that met its needs.  As they tell it, that all changed when they found NetLib Security.  The MDM had been looking for a product that could be included on their myriad servers and medical devices; a standardized answer rather than a patchwork suite of solutions. For the past several years, NetLib Security has been working with the MDM’s team to help meet key business objectives of securing stored data on their devices.  This manufacturer regularly puts new devices out in the field, so they were eager to acquire the ability to protect new products without the complication of different solutions for each device type.  Their customers are hospitals, after all, which tend to purchase hospital equipment and medical devices in bulk.  The company offers hundreds of products throughout the healthcare industry, from microbiology testing systems to flow cytometers, along with their connected servers.  NetLib Security’s Encryptionizer® is integrated with a substantial quantity of these machines, with the intention to roll out the software onto future products with no additional programming required. 

The MDM has had no hesitation in expressing positive feedback about what Encryptionizer provides and how it fulfills their company’s needs. Through NetLib Security’s interactions with the handful of teams across the business, related to several markets, NetLib has taken these lessons to add enhancements to the install process and implementation, thus giving customers more flexibility on rollout.  

“Ensuring a seamless simple approach to data security has always been a primary goal,” said Neil Weicher, Founder and CTO, NetLib Security. “Working with the MDM to address their pain points with a solution that can be transparently deployed at scale and meet their key business needs was a great team effort across the board.”

And where different teams and products required distinct needs and approaches, NetLib Security has tailored its solution to fit needs wherever required, while still ensuring ease of use, deployment, and integration.  Ultimately, the goal is to simplify security for stored data with no additional programming required.  Encryptionizer transparently encrypts data on servers, legacy systems, devices and distributed applications.   

The MDM has also identified a few other areas where they plan to utilize NetLib Security’s encryption solution. Some of the MDM’s products incorporate third party solutions. Encryptionizer will allow the MDM to address this potential weak link in the chain for data security, without the involvement of the external developer, which may have different or even subpar security policies.  They also plan to roll out encryption protection to legacy devices already in the field.  Legacy medical devices and their connected servers are in fact another primary concern for the entire healthcare ecosystem.  They represent an easier way to manage patient care and information but they are also a highly vulnerable access point for bad actors.  Given that these may no longer be supported by the developer, they constitute another major security vulnerability.

While many companies are still grappling with how to address the problem, NetLib Security has developed a cost effective and powerful solution to this industry wide issue, and looks forward to assisting the MDM in their future efforts.