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Quantum-Safe Security Solutions for Protecting Healthcare Data Networks

Healthcare data networks carry information that is both vital to patient care and highly confidential. It should be protected at all cost.

The Importance of Protecting Healthcare Data Networks

Advances in healthcare technology have made paper-based records a thing of the past. Instead, healthcare organisations rely on high-speed, high-performance networks to enable the flow of sensitive information such as patient records and management information. However, without protection, these networks and the data flowing across them are at risk from cyber attack.

The healthcare sector has also taken advantage of the growth in the Internet of Things (IoT) and ‘big data’ to fuel the rise of e-Health. While this trend has improved the efficiency of many healthcare organisations, it has also placed an increasing emphasis on systems security.

The coming age of the quantum computer places further requirements on healthcare organsations to encrypt their data at a standard resistant to quantum attacks. While today’s encryption standards would take conventional computers many thousands of years to break, quantum computers will be able to achieve this in a fraction of the time.

IDQ’s range of quantum-safe security solutions ensure that healthcare data in motion is protected in both the current and future security landscape.

The Impact of Healthcare Data Breaches

Since 2013, over 272 million healthcare records have been lost or stolen. Because this information does not only contain treatment information, but names, addresses, dates of birth and so on, it is particularly valuable for cyber criminals to use in identity theft.

Breaches themselves take two main forms: The first is to inject rogue data into systems to give, for example, false readings on remote monitors, interrupt CCTV or intercept ambulance communications – be this as a malicious or ‘nuisance’ act. The second is to capture sensitive information such as patient records or personal and business information which can then be exploited.

Such attacks affect both patients, leaving their personal information and health at risk, and healthcare organisations which can experience hefty financial loss, potential fines and loss of confidence – be they public or private institutions.

Recent high-profile data breaches in the healthcare sector include:

Anthem: 2015 saw criminal hackers steal 80 million records from US healthcare provider Anthem in what was reported to be a state-sponsored attack.

Premera: The patient records of 11 million Premera Blue Cross customers were exposed as a result of a 2014 attack. Dates of birth, social security records, bank account details and clinical records were amongst the information that could have leaked.

Banner Health: The payment card details of 3.7m customers’ were compromised in 2016 after hackers gained access to the company’s food and drinks payment system.

NHS: The UK’s National Health Service had 239 data security incidents reported between June – October 2016. The organisation was also affected by a global cyber attack in 2017.

Quantum-Safe Security for Healthcare Data

To ensure the continued data security both today and in the post-quantum era, healthcare organisations must act quickly to secure it. Implementing a quantum-safe security solution allows organisations to encrypt their data in motion to a level unparalleled by more traditional cryptographic methods.

Quantum-Safe Network Encryption

IDQ’s Centauris network encryption platform offers “set & forget” functionality to ensure that the encryption does not place an additional burden on the network team. In addition, state-of-the-art security features meet even the most stringent regulatory requirements. FIPS and Common Criteria level security certifications ensure both physical protection of the appliance as well as best-practice encryption key management processes and access controls.

Quantum Key Distribution

IDQ’s Cerberis quantum key distribution range is the world’s first carrier-grade QKD platform that  provides provably secure key exchange. The range exploits a fundamental principle of quantum physics to exchange cryptographic keys over networks, ensuring long-term protection and forward secrecy.

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