Control is the Key to Healthcare BYOD Security

Many CISOs, CIOs and IT heads consider the healthcare BYOD security challenges to be too problematic, and shy away from implementing such a scheme. The benefits many be numerous, but the costs of data breaches cannot be ignored. Especially when there is a high risk of a data breach.

According to a recent study – BYOD Insights 2013 – from the Cisco Partner Network, only 36% of respondents believed that their employer would be prepared to deal with BYOD issues. The healthcare BYOD security problems were perceived to be too great a challenge.

One of the problems comes from the number of devices that need to be connected. Multiple mobile devices are often used by healthcare professionals, and that means thousands of staff members using multiple connection points and multiple devices. Securing such a system is seen as being next to impossible given the resources available.

However, it is possible to create a robust, secure and user friendly system that allows data to be accessed, stored and transmitted securely, while all devices used to connect to the network can be easily managed and secured. The key to healthcare BYOD security is to apply the technologies to control devices and device use. Even better, it is possible to do all this in a very cost-effective manner.

Breaking Down Healthcare BYOD Security

Implementing a secure BYOD for healthcare providers is now far easier. Devices can be controlled and data accessed securely using virtualization services. Data never needs to be stored on the devices; instead it can be stored on virtual servers inside the control of the healthcare provider.

One of the major issues arising from BYOD schemes is the time taken to monitor and manage the schemes. Software developers have now released mobile device management solutions that allow all devices to be centrally managed. Management platforms can be integrated into existing security systems allowing the incorporation of Application Delivery Controllers (ADCs) and Network Delivery Controllers (NDCs).

Rules can easily be set to control the actions that can be performed by an endpoint user; who, how and where users can connect to the network; and it is also possible to segregate data. That data can be remotely wiped without removing the users´ personal data, such as phone contacts.

Implement Controls, Promote Use and Empower Endpoint Users

Once a BYOD scheme has been implemented, and data secured, users must be shown the benefits of the system; how to use their phones securely; how to efficiently access and use information through the system etc.

When shown how much faster data can be accessed – compared to previous communication and information sharing systems – users will be encouraged to join the scheme. Overly restrictive BYOD policies put staff members off. By utilizing new mobile security solutions it is possible for full control of devices to be retained by a healthcare provider, while users get to enjoy benefits from what is seen as a much less restrictive BYOD environment.

The key is not to restrict use of mobile devices in the workplace too much, as it will discourage users from taking part in BYOD schemes. Instead, healthcare BYOD security controls should be implemented that allow a wider range of activities to be performed on mobile devices.

Author: Richard Anderson

Richard Anderson is the Editor-in-Chief of