Health care service networks are at a particularly high risk of breaches, according to studies. In fact, it is the second largest sector affected by data and security breaches next to businesses.  2015 has been dubbed the year of healthcare hacks and analysts think that things are only going to get worse as the days go by. Data from more than 120 million people has been compromised in over 1,100 separate system breaches at organizations handling supposedly protected health information since the year 2009. This is according to the Department of Health and Human Services report reviewed by the Washington Post. This is almost a third of the US population. Some of the most significant incidents were the hacking and security breach of Premera Blue Cross and Anthem (the second largest health insurer in America), compromising the personal information records of millions of consumers.

With malware, viruses, and hackers becoming more sophisticated in their ways, breaches are becoming even harder to detect, which calls for better ways to secure systems. Firewall applications have taken slack for being ineffective in protecting against more advanced and sophisticated attacks, but the level of protection they offer cannot be discounted. There are different types of firewalls that healthcare services and other sectors vulnerable to these attacks can use to protect their systems including:

  • Packet filtering firewalls which filter and screen packets based on their addresses and other pre-determined packet options. They protect at the IP packet level and decide whether or not to forward a particular data packet based on their headers. Packet filtering firewalls have tree subtypes, including static filtering, dynamic filtering, and stateful inspection.
  • Circuit gateways are a type of firewall that operates at network transport layer. Authorizations for connection are also based on addresses and they work to prevent direct connections between the networks.
  • Application gateways on the other hand, are proxy-based firewalls that operate at application level. They examine information at the app data level (the contents of the packets) and decide upon connection authority based on these data and the commands passed to FTP.
  • Hybrid firewalls use elements of more than one type of protection. They allow for multi-layer protection, thus helping screen and filter threats on a deeper and more thorough level. They are created to increase protection of existing firewalls and determine which type of traffic is safe to allow entry. Hybrid firewalls enforce security policies and keep an audit trail to ensure prevention of and protection against data security breaches.

About the Author:                      

Mike Rana is the Chief Technology Advisor of Orion Network Solutions. Orion Network Solutions specializes in providing Computer Installation, Maintenance, and Consulting services along with 24×7 help desk services for small and midsize companies. We provide network solutions that enable small businesses to not only lower their management cost but also increases employee productivity at the same low price. We offer network solution that becomes an integral part of your organization and can provide an increase in productivity of your organization.

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