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AlgoSec and Zero-Trust for Healthcare


Before I became a Sale Engineer I started my career working in operations and I don’t remember the first time I heard the term zero trust but I all I knew is that it was very important and everyone was striving to get to that level of security. Today I’ll get into how AlgoSec can help achieve those goals, but first let’s have a quick recap on what zero trust is in the first place. There are countless whitepapers and frameworks that define zero trust much better than I can, but they are also multiple pages long, so I’ll do a quick recap.  


Traditionally when designing a network you may have different zones and each zone might have different levels of access. In many of these types of designs there is a lot of trust that is given once they are in a certain zone. For example, once someone gets to their workplace at the hospital, the nursing home, the dental center or any other medical office and does all the necessary authentication steps (proper company laptop, credentials, etc…) they potentially have free reign to everything. This is a very simple example and in a real-world scenario there would hopefully be many more safeguards in place. But what does happen in real world scenarios is that devices still manage to get trusted more than they should. And from my own experience and from working with customers this happens way too often.  

Especially in the healthcare industry this is becoming more and more important. These days there are many different types of medical devices, some that hold sensitive information, some scanning instruments, and some that might even be critical to patient support. More importantly many are connected to some type of network. Because of this level of connectivity, we do need to start shifting toward this idea of zero trust. In healthcare cybersecurity isn’t just a matter of maintaining the network, it’s about maintaining the critical operations of the hospitals running smoothly and patient data safe and secure.  

Maintaining security policies is critical to achieving zero trust. Below you can see some of the key features that AlgoSec has that can help achieve that goal. 




Security Policy Analysis 

Analyze existing security policy sets across all parts of the network (on-premises and cloud) with various vendors. 

Policy Cleanup 

Identify and remove redundant rules, duplicate rules, and more from the first report. 

Specific Recommendations 

Over time, recommendations become more specific, such as identifying unnecessary rules (e.g., a printer talking to a medical device without actual use). 

Application Perspective 

Tie firewall rules to actual applications to understand the business function they support, leading to more targeted security policies. 

Granularity & Visibility 

Higher level of visibility and granularity in security policies, focusing on specific application flows rather than broad network access. 

Security Posture by Application 

View and assess security risks and vulnerabilities at the application level, improving overall security posture. 


One of my favorite aspects of the AlgoSec platform is that we not only help optimize your security policies, but we also start to look at security from an application perspective. Traditionally, firewall change requests come in and it’s just asking for very specific things, “Source A to Destination B using Protocol C.” But using AlgoSec we tie those rules to actual applications to see what business function this is supporting. By knowing the specific flows and tying them to a specific application this allows us to keep a closer eye on the actual security policies we need to create. This helps with that zero trust journey because having that higher level of visibility and granularity helps to keep the rules more specific. Instead of a change request coming in that is allowing wide open access between two subnets the application can be designed for only the access that is required. It also allows for an overall better view of the security posture. 

Zero trust, like many other ideas and frameworks in our industry might seem farfetched at first. We ask ourselves, how do we get there or how do we implement without it becoming so cumbersome that we give up on it. I think it’s normal to be a bit pessimistic about achieving the goal and it’s completely fine to look at some projects as moving targets that we might not have a hard deadline on. There usually isn’t a magic bullet that accomplish our goals, especially something like achieving zero trust. Multiple initiatives and projects are necessary. With AlgoSec’s expertise in application connectivity and policy management, we can be a key partner in that journey. 

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