Archive for October, 2010

Dark Reading, Talk About Evasion
Integrated Solutions Magazine, Executive Outlook: Mobile VPN Ensures Reliable Wireless Access
IT World, Bringing Your Own Technology to the Office – What You Need to Know
Mashable, HOW TO: Protect Yourself From Firesheep With a VPN
SearchNetworking.com, Network Security Infrastructure Consolidation: What’s Your Strategy?

This week, we feature Shahid Shah, an enterprise software analyst that specializes in healthcare IT with an emphasis on e-health, E M Rs, data integration, and legacy modernization.  He is also founder of the popular Healthcare IT Guy blog.

VPN Haus: Let’s start at a higher level, what are you seeing in the mobile health space? How are the adoption rates to mobile technology?

Shahid Shah:  Mobile devices and wireless in general are hot topics these days. And you have a variety of different areas.  One major one is wireless, broadly speaking, and the other one is mobile phones. You may have noticed that if you go into hospitals these days, many don’t allow mobile phones.  Lots of hospital device vendors and mobile device vendors are trying to figure how to best incorporate cellular technology into hospitals.

As far as mobile phone and mobile technologies adoption is concerned, the adoption rate is just as good – if not better – than any commercial sector (other than the mass consumer market). Consumers have definitely picked up on mobile technology significantly better than any enterprises have.

In the healthcare enterprise sector, adoption is really quite high, that’s the good news is. But the bad news is, there are still a wide variety of standards that haven’t been adopted broadly enough to be applicable across cross multiple mobile devices within the hospital.

VPN Haus: In the healthcare sector, how are IT administrators handling the adoption of mobile devices?

Shah: People are thinking of mobile devices in their own groups. For example, in a complex hospital environment setting, you might have medical devices with wireless capabilities that are treated differently than VOIP devices that might be running on Wi-Fi or voice-over IP.  Then you have entire cellular networks that run on their own set of standards. Hospital networks, the FDA, and the FTC are having a very difficult time trying to figure out how to give mobile access to doctors and nurses in way that allows them to use medical devices simultaneously while also allowing them to use cell phones in traditional ways.

For example, there are many cases where you’ll go in with a cellphone in an area of a hospital where cellular signals won’t work but Wi-fi does. And then you move 20-feet down in the same environment and Wi-Fi will stop working but the cellphone will come on. It’s one thing if you lose the signal on a phone call with a friend but a whole other thing if you have a critical medical device running on wireless and that thing loses signal or connectivity even briefly. It can really mean a big deal to lose signal in a critical life scenario.

Computing.co.uk, Securing the WLAN
Dark Reading, One-Time Passwords On The Rise But Come With Some Risks
Datamation, The Future of Work: Who Needs an Office?
eSecurity Planet, Top Ten Ways to Avoid an Evil Twin Attack
PC Magazine, IPv4 to IPv6 IP Address Transition Becoming Critical

As the Mobile Health Expo 2010 gets underway this week, we caught up with Martin Hack executive vice president of NCP engineering on his upcoming panel session, Privacy and Security: How American Hospice Incorporated Mobile Devices into Its Day-to-Day Operations. Here’s what Martin had to share with us regarding the Expo.

VPN Haus: During your session on Tuesday, you and Fred Cruz will talk about vendor lock and the challenges it presents to healthcare organizations. Can you give our readers a sneak preview here and tell us the main challenges around vendor lock and how healthcare organizations can work around these?

Martin Hack: It’s primarily a question of standards and whether it is feasible to use standards based solutions. Luckily, in our networking world, standards have been well defined and have been around for ages. So one thing a customer can do, to avoid too much of a vendor lock in, is to purchase from vendors that support industry standards and have a history of providing up-to-date products for a variety of platforms and devices.

VPN Haus: Do you think security has taken a backseat to convenience with re: to mhealth?

Hack: Historically security has taken a backseat with pretty much everything that requires some thought. However I also notice that especially the healthcare industry is now taking a more proactive stance with regards to securing sensitive information. Whether that has been forced through the front page news data breaches or the increase in regulatory requirements, hard to tell. Probably both. So a new initiative like mHealth is now being launched into a industry that has increased awareness around data security. That’s good news for mHealth.

VPN Haus: What is IPsec’s role in mhealth? Do you see it eclipsing SSL in this sector?

Hack: Contrary to most pundits IPsec is going to be here for the long term. We are going to see an equal amount of use out of both IPsec and SSL.

Sometimes you need a flat-head screwdriver and sometimes you need a Philips screwdriver. Different job different tool. Both protocols address a fundamentally different use case.

VPN Haus: Why should folks attending the Mobile Health Expo come to your session?

Hack: They are going to learn how easy and straightforward it can be to switch from paper based health care to mobile/near real time processing. That alone is a quantum shift as far technology is concerned. But the intrinsic value that attendees will learn about is that we can improve care delivery with the use of our current solutions. And that’s what it’s IMHO ultimately about.

Attend Martin’s panel session at Mobile Health Expo in room 23 on Tuesday, October 19 at 2:00 PM at the Caesars Palace Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Network World, Best Practices for Endpoint Security, Part I
Network World, Best Practices for Endpoint Security, Part II
SearchSecurity.com, A Pre-Implementation Windows 7 Security Guide for Enterprises
The Register, The Changing Face of Branch Offices
WindowsITPro, Q: What VPN Protocol do you Recommend for Windows 7 Clients?
ZDNet, Five Ways for IPv6 and IPv4 to Peacefully Co-exist