Hospitals warming to virtualization

Hospitals warming to virtualization

March 16

Virtualization has been a popular technology throughout the corporate sector for years, but now more healthcare organizations are realizing the benefits of implementing virtual environments. Computerworld recently reported that Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, which has up to 9,000 clinicians working throughout its 1.6 million-square-foot facility, plans to adopt a desktop virtualization project to improve patient care and how its employees operate.

Stephen Sears, director of cloud and virtualization services at the hospital, said the organization realizes the importance of planning such an initiative.

“If we’re going to take on technology change inside a critical care setting, and with systems that serve our sickest patients, we’ve got to have a well-thought-out plan for making sure it works and that there’s backup,” said Sears, according to the report.

The hospital is hoping to make its workforce more mobile and reliant on wireless computing. Sears added that the organization is also implementing a new documentation system, which will be used through both desktops and mobile devices, and that it will be aided by the virtualization project, Computerworld reported.

Many organizations lack proper virtual security
The effectiveness of virtualization depends largely on how well organizations update their security over time. However, many are failing to do so, which can result in more problems down the road. A survey conducted at VM World by Varonis found that nearly 50 percent of IT organizations believe or suspect their virtual servers have been accessed without proper authorization. Another 70 percent of respondents have little to no auditing of their virtual environments.

“We suspect that for IT departments, virtualization may be something of a black box,” said David Gibson, vice president of strategy at Varonis. “We have found that, after a workload is virtualized, the actual details of managing file permissions and monitoring access is considered to be automatically ‘taken care of.'”

Gibson also said that some teams overseeing virtualization may believe that security and governance are handled in other departments, which is causing even more issues associated with virtual security. As a result, businesses’ security teams simply lack the proper visibility into these projects.

Given the dangers of cyberattacks, organizations using virtualization should make sure that every department knows its role when it comes to securing virtual environments. Any lapse in security could result in unwanted intrusions into a firm’s IT networks.

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