The past year or so of the pandemic have been a dizzying blur: it has meant great hardship and change for many of us. Now that […]

Telehealth: What’s the Toll on Healthcare IT Networks?

The past year or so of the pandemic have been a dizzying blur: it has meant great hardship and change for many of us. Now that […]

The past year or so of the pandemic have been a dizzying blur: it has meant great hardship and change for many of us. Now that the pandemic is finally, and thankfully, lessening, everyone’s starting to take stock of the permanent changes that have come out of this time. One major change is, inarguably, telehealth.

Just a year and a half ago, telehealth was off the ground…but not by that much. Fast forward to today, and most of us have had at least one telehealth appointment in the last year. Many insurers are now covering telehealth on a permanent basis and Congress is attempting to get telehealth coverage for Medicare approved.

It’s great that healthcare has become more accessible: more people can now access needed services and enjoy more timely care. The question is: what impact will this sudden shift to telehealth have on the IT networks and professionals who were already struggling to keep up with their rapidly evolving complex IT infrastructures and security? Even if providers use outside telehealth platforms, there is still a great toll on the network that must support the various apps and influx of data.

What’s more? For the past three consecutive years, according to a recent Verizon report, healthcare is the industry that has had the largest percent of internal IT security incidents and breaches. The U.S. Department of Healthcare and Human Services’ position is that healthcare IT must make the move to a “zero trust” architecture — in that every device must be verified.

This can’t be accomplished by one singular tool, but by various tools working in tandem, including: device security, network security, data security, workload security, identity/access management, visibility, and orchestration tools.

Because IT documentation and network mapping is key to visibility and network security (and we make network diagram/IT documentation software), let’s dive in to how it helps.

Network documentation helps ensure the following:

  • Compliance and security concerns are met
  • Network issues are prevented or solved more quickly
  • Collaboration among coworkers is easy

Compliance and security concerns are met.

One of the areas required for network compliance is having up-to-date network diagrams. You can achieve this by having an automated network mapping solution to see what is on the network today. Automated network diagram software, such as netTerrain, can go out and discover your routers, switches, smart PDUs, servers, and show them in web-based network diagrams to achieve compliance. Don’t recognize a device in your network? Flag it and locate the potential security breach and take action.

Network issues are prevented or solved more quickly.

Troubleshooting headaches? Automated network diagram software can help. If the software has polling settings, it can help identify if a network device is not responding to a Ping or SNMP request and visually show the affected network device that will turn to red and blink. Drill into the network device to see how it impacts other devices and applications, find more information about the device, such as applications, if it is under warranty or maintenance, the owner of the equipment, and identify which customer this may affect, too.

Collaboration among coworkers is easy.

By having your IT documentation in one place to store and document, it’s much easier to bring your network operators together to view the same network diagrams, make edits (depending on their permission level, of course), markup the diagrams, and to foster a more collaborative environment that increases productivity and increase morale.

As telehealth continues to ramp up, and IT networks continue to evolve, there’s no time like the present to start documenting and diagramming the network in order to gain the visibility needed to keep the network secure. If you’d like to test-drive netTerrain for free, or would like to schedule a quick 15-minute discovery call (no annoying sales tactics), click here to sign up.

Fred Koh
Fred Koh
As a seasoned sales executive, Fred Koh serves as Director of Sales and is responsible for Graphical Networks sales and channel partner program, marketing strategy, and operations.

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