Blog Data

Network Segmentation Health Check: Overdue

Lauren Farah Manager, Vertical Solutions Marketing Published 2 Mar 2021

ZDnet reports, Ransomware attacks are now to blame for half of healthcare data breaches. Back in October, the FBI raised the red flag, warning the US health care system of unprecedented ransomware assaults. Cybercrime is a matter of national security, as beyond “impacted election results” and corporate espionage, now the system in place to protect our health is in danger.

Medical data is being held hostage at an alarming rate. The top two targets on a hacker’s hit list are payment information ($5.40 per record), and health care data records netting the attackers $250 per record on the black market.

It is of paramount importance to ensure appropriate security is in place – more specifically, a layered security approach. In healthcare, it is critical to know what’s on your network. Organizations aiming to improve patient and guest experience can start with network segmentation and combine simple admin of end devices.

It is integral to understand the flow of data in your network and how available data can lay the foundation for greater automation and enhanced efficiency. For Extreme Networks, each deployment offers the opportunity to empower an “Intelligent Healthcare Organization” via clinical and patient experience, patient and partner ecosystem, internally delivered systems, and telemetry and monitoring to elevate the efficacy and security of network operations.

When it comes the network, legacy segmentation methods introduce complexity and cost, so while some healthcare organizations may have been ahead of the curve years back, today they are probably struggling to keep up.


  • Traffic filters offer operational complexity, lack scalability, are prone to human error, require provisioning on each device, and are inconsistent among products

  • Distributed firewalls simply don’t work, as it is infeasible to put a firewall at every IoT connection point

  • MPLS is expensive and complex

  • Tunnel overlays are complex and offer limited scale for large numbers of IoT devices

A thorn in the side of legacy strategy was approaching, making dependency of layers with security an afterthought.

Extreme Networks takes a service delivery-focused approach, enabling the ability to isolate each item and network so hackers can no longer hop laterally through an organization’s network and resources.

In healthcare, there are 100s and 1000s of services. Life and patient critical networks MUST be secure. Updated network segmentation is a crucial step toward a modern, future-proof multi-layered security approach and reduced attack vectors.

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