The Challenge

The healthcare sector is heavily regulated and the importance of protecting personal information, such as medical records, is a massive priority for all facilities. Perhaps even more so during the pandemic, when cyberattacks on healthcare facilities increased and new cybersecurity challenges needed to be considered.  

Chris Valleroy, the IT Director for Independence Health System commented, “the biggest challenge we face is protecting personal data, if a cyberattack happens and you don’t have the right protection in place, you’re basically a one stop shop for hackers looking for sensitive data.”

Prior to Covid, the organization didn’t have remote employees, so VPNs needed to be set up across different facilities to adapt. In addition, as they are regulated by state and federal government, they found themselves locked down for a 12-month period. Chris continued “aside from the concerns around remote workers, government regulations meant that no one was allowed into the facilities to visit their loved ones, so we also needed to implement some new technologies like video conferencing and drive thru speakers so families could visit remotely. This needed to be done quickly without notice, so of course it presented some new cybersecurity challenges.”

The Solution

Independence Health System was introduced to BlackFog by their cyber insurance provider Evolve MGA who recommended that they look at BlackFog’s anti data exfiltration technology.

“Ransomware is always a worry, fortunately it hasn’t been an issue for us but I know that many healthcare facilities have been hit, so we try to stay one step ahead. Our staff are trained on threats such as phishing and when I see malicious emails coming in I share them with the team so they know what to look out for. Unfortunately, cybercriminals are getting more sophisticated and so are the emails.

I hadn’t heard about anti data exfiltration before, but when I learned about BlackFog and did some research I realized they approached cybersecurity from a different angle than I am used to. It wasn’t the same as say installing another Antivirus, it seemed to be a unique approach and I was intrigued to learn more,” commented Chris.

The Approach

Independence Health System tested the solution for a 3-week period and the organization quickly saw the value of the solution. Chris commented, “we are a bit of a hard sale because we haven’t had any cyberattacks and our staff awareness about cyberthreats is high. Regardless, we could see the value in this type of solution. 

I particularly liked the adware and spyware blocking capabilities as well as the geo fencing feature which enables us to block data flow to certain countries. The trial showed us that we had a very clean environment, but we did see PowerShell threats for example. To me, the Antivirus is working on the front end and BlackFog is on the back end, monitoring things from the other side. Until we did the trial, I had no idea that so many potentially malicious ads were getting in front of our people every time they were online.”

The Results

The organization now has BlackFog installed across all company devices, and they appreciate that BlackFog is unobtrusive to the end user. Chris commented, “our users don’t even realize it’s running. It really is a set it and forget it solution that just does what you need it to do. I can take a quick look in the Enterprise console and see what’s being blocked, but I don’t need to take any action, which I like. It also helps us with our HIPAA compliance and keeps our rates lower too.

The process of working with BlackFog has been great and for any other company considering this solution, I’d say just do the trial and see what your other tools might be missing, you have nothing to lose.”