Cisco Email Security Appliance

Cisco Provides Email Management and Analysis for a Premier Healthcare Solutions Provider

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Headquarters: Suburban Cleveland, Ohio
Ownership: A subsidiary of Aetna, Inc.
Additional Offices: Chicago, Illinois
Business: Healthcare data management and analysis
●	Complete, single-source messaging security
●	Best-in-class email encryption and spam and virus protection at the network perimeter
●	Advanced data loss prevention
●	Comprehensive state and federal regulatory compliance controls
●	Systemwide integration and cost-effective management with minimal administrative overhead

Launched in 1995, Health Data Management Solutions Inc. (HDMS) provides critical business services and solutions for organizations with a financial interest in the healthcare industry, including insurance companies, hospitals, and care providers. With its healthcare decision- support solutions, HDMS empowers employers and health plans to maximize the value of their healthcare data through powerful, specialized and customized, web-based reporting and analysis. The employer services provided by HDMS include innovative software tools and skilled consulting solutions, in addition to health plan services. Organizations use these services to detect trends and opportunities, reduce costs, and increase efficiencies.

The Situation

To help ensure continuous compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, HDMS recently undertook a lengthy email security assessment. This assessment was inspired by the company’s recognition of the growing importance of email in transmitting data to and from its customers and business partners. In order to remain in compliance and continue using email freely to conduct business, HDMS set out to find a useable email encryption solution that was virtually transparent to internal and external users. As a complementary requirement (and in order to protect against data loss and leaks of sensitive information), content scanning and policy enforcement became a critical requirement for the project. HDMS also sought to replace its outdated email hygiene solution with an enhanced system to provide effective spam and virus protection.

Technical Challenges

HDMS operates across the United States as a branded, standalone business subsidiary of Aetna, one of the nation’s leading diversified healthcare benefits companies in the highly regulated healthcare information industry. HDMS needed an enterprisewide solution that it could manage internally with minimal financial overhead or drain on IT resources, including manpower time.

The organization needed a system that could be integrated and managed transparently; ideally the system would be provided by a single vendor who understood all its unique requirements and capacities and could fulfill them. HDMS was especially interested in technology that would enable it to communicate private, regulated information directly with recipients and provide the best experience possible for its customers and recipients.

The Cisco IronPort Advantage

After a thorough search, HDMS selected Cisco®, and the Cisco IronPort® C-Series email security appliance, to address the costs associated with spam, viruses, and related threats. Built on the advanced Cisco IronPort AsyncOS® operating system, the fully configured appliance provides instant results and easy manageability. Cisco IronPort Reputation Filters protect organizations from suspicious senders by applying a full-range of dynamic, intelligent mail flow control policies, while Cisco IronPort Virus Outbreak Filters quarantine suspicious mail immediately, preventing widespread damage across the network. Equipped with Cisco IronPort Anti-Spam technology, the Cisco IronPort C-Series accurately detects spam (without delivering problematic false positives), while the fully integrated Sophos Anti-Virus solution delivers in-depth scanning and denial-of-service (DoS) attack prevention. Finally, the Cisco IronPort Encryption Appliance provides easy-to-use and auditable, policy-driven email encryption capabilities to meet the regulatory compliance needs of HDMS.

With Cisco, HDMS now utilizes data loss prevention (DLP) technology that features:

   A built-in HIPAA compliance dictionary and other privacy lexicons

   Easily created custom policies and rule definitions

   Capacity for large file transfers

   “Set and forget” manageability

   Industry-leading encryption

   Threat protection at the network perimeter

“The Cisco IronPort solution provides spam, virus, and data loss protection, combined with encryption technology that gives us the flexibility we needed to handle protected health information (PHI),” says Maher Atwah, Ph.D., Vice President and CTO at HDMS. Cisco helps ensure that HDMS is protected not only from today’s threats, but from those certain to evolve in the future.

This document was originally published in 02/08, and is being republished with limited, non-substantive updates in 08/10.