Steward Healthcare System is a physician-led organization with 18 hospital campuses, 4,500 physicians, and 25 affiliated urgent care locations. Headquartered in Boston, MA, Steward is a growing community-based organization with more than 23,000 employees across four states.
With more than 125 vendors accessing Steward Healthcare System’s network, it was extremely difficult to manage and control access. The healthcare organization needed a better way to centrally manage and take control of vendor access.
Steward was struggling to handle a multitude of vendor IP addresses and found it arduous to control network access. Plus, they had no way to see or prove exactly what vendors had done while on their network. Lack of visibility into vendor actions and an uncontrolled IT environment opened them up to security vulnerabilities.
Before turning to SecureLink, Steward Healthcare System was using SSL VPN, with many ad-hoc solutions that weren’t centrally located or managed. With so many vendors – spanning clinical to HVAC – the healthcare organization looked for a solution that was easy for their engineers to manage, offered great reporting, and ensured HIPAA and HITECH compliance.
SecureLink Key Benefits
Steward Healthcare System initially learned about SecureLink from a new employee who used it at a previous company, had a great experience with it, and suggested it would work well for them. So, they received a demo of the platform and networking staff determined that it fit their needs perfectly.
The implementation process was smooth and took just under two months to onboard all 125 vendors, 200 applications, and tackle some Java upgrades. After implementing SecureLink, Steward’s networking staff configured it, set up firewalls, and rebuilt the IT environment. It took them about 10 days to build the servers, then test the platform, and present the auditing processes to the company. This exceeded Steward’s expectations for deployment time, which they thought would take much longer.
SecureLink’s centralized management feature has enabled Steward’s network engineers to handle the IT environment in a much more efficient manner. They have seen an improvement in their first-level support with call volumes being reduced. They have also seen a reduction in the amount of time it takes to resolve vendor rep support or access issues over the phone. This has resulted in cost-savings for the healthcare organization as a whole.
SecureLink’s auditing capabilities enable Steward Healthcare System to examine logs and see how many vendors are accessing their network, which servers they are accessing, and even pinpoint which particular files they are accessing. SecureLink’s video evidence feature is one that Steward relies heavily upon – it enables them to find out exactly who did what and when.
Now that Steward’s network admins can control vendor access from one place, it’s much easier for them to add users and oversee applications that vendors are using. SecureLink has freed Steward’s networking staff from the burden of chasing vendor reps and given them the ability to focus on other projects.
“We rely heavily on the auditing capabilities of SecureLink and the video evidence aspect.”
– Glenn Camilien