How to Increase Information Security Revenue with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and its component HITECH has pledged millions of dollars to support federal and state programs to develop health information exchange within and across jurisdictions. This evolution of health information will create a challenge for the security technology industry. However, this challenge will also create new opportunities to bolster revenue in the security industry

How the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Creates New Revenue Producing Opportunities for Information Security Companies

Multiple levels of security must be provided to address the privacy and security of electronic medical records (EMR) and electronic health records (EHR) when stored, utilized and exchanged. The electronic medical record is the electronic record of health- related information on a patient that is created, gathered, managed, and consulted by licensed clinicians and staff within a single organization while electronic health records stretch across from one or more healthcare organizations. It's a tall order to manage thus, multiple layers of security will be required in order to protect EMRs and EHRs from unauthorized access and theft.

Don't think healthcare organizations will circumvent security requirements by selecting a Certified EHR or EMR. The US Health and Human Services Department has emphasized that using certified systems does not change existing HIPAA Privacy Rule or Security Rule requirements or the ones indicated in HITECH. Threats to EMRs and EHRs are real, and protecting these networks requires layers of security to hospitals and physician groups, which can produce revenues for any security organization focused on the healthcare industry. These include endpoint security software packages, secure network infrastructure and security management.

3 Ways Information Security Companies Can Make More Money Now

* Endpoint security software packages. Companies who offer endpoint security include IBM, Sophos, Check Point, Trend Micro, Symantec and Lumension. These packages address viruses, spyware, and malware threats, as long as, they are kept up- to- date. The use of endpoint security software on all hosts is critical to keep a host from being compromised;

* Secure network infrastructure. Companies who offer secure network infrastructure include Cisco, Juniper, Check Point, IBM, Sourcefire, Citrix, and TippingPoint. These companies offer hardware and software features that support secure connectivity, perimeter security, intrusion protection, identity services, Virtual Private Network (VPN), and wireless. Because these devices comprise the infrastructure used to support the EHR system, enabling the corresponding security features native to each product will provide added protection to the overall EHR deployment;

* Security management. Companies who offer security management of systems include Computer Associates, Novell, NetIQ, ArcSight and Tripwire. Security management includes tools for provisioning, change management, monitoring and maintaining security, that provide centralized intelligence for managing the other components of a strong security solution.

Healthcare providers that employ strong security do more than just protect patient data. They establish new capabilities for improving patient care and business operations. A secure EHR network can provide access to information at the point of care; increase mobility of clinicians, and improve patient care and safety through use of a secure wired or wireless network. This allows clinicians to access and update clinical records directly from an examination room or lab, providing an up- to- date, comprehensive view of the patient where caregivers need it most. Within an ambulatory environment, having access to patient histories during a patient visit can often offer a higher level of care. Secure wireless networks and VPNs allow clinicians to access patient information, lab results, and medical libraries from notebook computers, PDAs, handheld devices, and portable phones, as well as from remote practices, hospitals and home offices. And lastly, EHRs and EMRs enabled by a secure network provide a more unified, up- to- date view of the patient, which results in faster, more accurate, less redundant care.

No individual component can fully protect healthcare systems, but a layered, in- depth defense strategy provides more complete protection and is highly effective in keeping a network safe from attacks. A sideline benefit is that a focus on these elements in a healthcare environment can increase revenues to security focused providers.

About the Author:
Healthcare strategic information security sales executive Susan Crinnian established new multi- million dollar territories and turned under developed territories into revenue producing markets for multiple organizations. For more information on how to increase information security revenues in the healthcare marketplace, contact Susan through: http://www.linkedin.com/in/crinnian

No. of Times this article has been viewed : 562
Date Published : Mar 11 2010

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