Finding the Right Partner for Managed Detection and Response

Many hospitals now have hundreds of thousands of endpoints, especially as perimeters extend beyond hospital walls. These endpoints need security controls so they can be isolated and contained should anything happen.

Bringing in a partner can offer more support to a lean healthcare IT staff, especially during a critical event where people are going to be overextended. When CDW Healthcare looks for a solid managed detection and response (MDR) partner for healthcare clients, our criteria focuses on:

  • Low-impact technology that’s not going to hinder clinical performance
  • A distributed protective state that covers the organization regardless of location
  • Established runbooks and playbooks so an organization doesn’t have to build them from scratch
  • Round-the clock monitoring capabilities with a partner that can watch the dashboard, recognize indicators of exposure, and begin researching the problem instead of sitting on the information

An MDR solution is vastly different from endpoint detection and response. MDR is an important solution for resource-constrained organizations to access. Whereas EDR sifts through the noise to recognize vulnerabilities, MDR takes advantage of an additional layer of human capacity to get the ball rolling against potential threats. By the time the client has been notified of the problem, an MDR partner has already begun information gathering and problem validation, and is preparing a cohesive problem statement and a recommendation for response or recovery.

This MDR-EDR combination can provide security innovation within the healthcare industry that not only will keep the data flowing and the lights on, but more crucially will keep the heart monitors working and the IVs dripping. The crucial element of the continuity of care is the lifecycle of a hospital.

EXPLORE: Get tips on how to combat alert fatigue in healthcare cybersecurity. 

A Stronger Team at the Center

Security is not just crossing off items on a list. It’s not an afterthought after an event has occurred. Being compliant is not the same as having a well-formed and mature security program that’s cohesive with the entire tech stack of a clinical environment. Often, security is simplified into technology solutions that help organizations monitor and respond. Technology is important, but people are the true core of a strong security strategy.

When it comes to the rollout of new technology or processes in a healthcare setting, it is crucial for organizations to undergo a culture shift to ensure adoption is seen as a reward rather than a penalty. Continuity of care is the most important facet in the lifecycle of a hospital; therefore, securing the technology that allows the business of healthcare to occur should be the most important technology an organization invests in.

DIVE DEEPER: Here’s what you should know about emerging cyberthreats. 

People and technology work in conjunction with one another, so it’s critical to create an integrated environment that ensures employees feel supported and heard and doesn’t bypass or avoid security processes. The latest technology does nothing if security protocols are bypassed or ignored.

Other industries such as finance and retail have the resources and teams to scale their responses, but healthcare has a long way to go amid tight budgets and staffing shortages, even though lives depend on functional, available healthcare. Relying on a partner for managed detection and response is a step in the right direction.

This article is part of HealthTech’s MonITor blog series. Please join the discussion on Twitter by using #WellnessIT.


Keep this page bookmarked to keep up with all of HealthTech’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month coverage, including more on managed detection and response.


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