Cloud Migration Challenges For Healthcare Organisations

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced healthcare organisations (HCOs) to accelerate their digital transformation and cloud adoption by almost 90%, with remote working and cost savings viewed as the main reasons to implement a cloud infrastructure. This was a result of a global survey from Trend Micro, which surveyed more than 2,500 IT decision makers across several industries, including healthcare. 

With digital transformation comes a higher level of cyber threat.  The survey showed that the sector may have over-estimated its ability to protect its cloud environment as 43% of HCOs revealed that a skills gaps was a barrier to migration and only 40% are confident they secure their part of the Shared Responsibility Model.

Trend Micro commissioned Sapio Research to carry out the survey and the results show that 88% of HCOs have accelerated their cloud adoption because of the pandemic. Remote working, cost savings and improved IT agility were three main reasons for the switch to cloud-based infrastructure. 

Rapid shifts to the cloud may leave organisations at higher risk of cyber threats and the survey has identified four challenges HCOs reportedly faced when moving to cloud-based environments:      

  • Skills shortages: 43% revealed that skills gaps are a persistent barrier to migrating to cloud security solutions.
  • Day-to-day operations: Setting and maintaining policies (34%), patching and vulnerability management (32%), and misconfigurations (32%) were challenges of protecting cloud workloads.
  • Increased costs: 43% have spent more on capital expenses and paying for contracted out services, while 39% have spent more on operational and training costs since migrating.
  • Security responsibility: Just 40% are confident they secure their part of the Shared Responsibility Model.

While cloud migration isn’t simple, it can be enabled and improved using the right security tools. “Security is another aspect of building well, not a separate function. And security controls help teams build better in the cloud ....Security can be an accelerator for building in the cloud. Using the right tools and understanding the platforms you’re using is key to making that happen.” said Mark Nunnikhoven, VP of cloud research at Trend Micro. 

The healthcare sector has been on the frontline in the struggle against COVID-19 and digital transformation can make a positive impact on productivity and patient care during this time of critical need.  However, it is essential that the broader attack surface of an expanded digital infrastructure is given due consideration.

With the right cloud-ready solutions in place, HCOs can maximise cloud benefits without putting mission-critical systems or patient data at risk. Such tools can also minimise skills challenges by spotting misconfigurations, automating patching and policy management, and integrating security into DevOps, across both cloud and on-premise environments.

Trend Micro:      Bloomberg:     Cision:     Image: Unsplash

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