Two Hospitals Select Vernier Networks' Security Platform to Meet HIPAA Requirements

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.-- Howard County General Hospital and St. Vincent's Hospital Depend on Vernier ASP to Protect Patient Records While Offering Latest Network Services.

Vernier Networks today announced that several healthcare organizations have selected the Vernier Adaptive Security Platform (ASP) to secure their networks and help them meet the technical requirements of the 1996 Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) to protect online patient records. Howard County Hospital in Columbia, Md., and St. Vincent's Hospital in Birmingham, Ala., are among the hospitals that have deployed the Vernier ASP. The deadline to meet HIPAA requirements is April 21, 2005.

The Vernier ASP is the industry's first adaptive network security solution that enables healthcare organizations to meet stringent HIPAA requirements while assuring continuous, secure network availability on their wired and wireless networks. These requirements, which are directly addressed by the Vernier ASP, include access control, authorization control, data authentication, user authentication, data encryption and audit controls. Additionally, Vernier's multi-layered solution proactively protects networks from increasingly complex attacks, while continually adapting network security policy to protect against future threats.

Howard County General Hospital, part of the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System, selected the Vernier ASP to offer HIPAA-compliant, secure network access for more than 750 physicians, while protecting the hospital's network from viruses and worms. Since most of the physicians at Howard County General Hospital are visiting physicians with their own laptops or PDAs, the hospital's IT staff faced a huge amount of work to provide them with access to patient records via the hospital's network.

"We had to find a way to enable visiting physicians and other mobile workers to access patient records or use our Internet access while meeting HIPAA requirements," said Rick Edwards, director of information systems at Howard County General Hospital. "Using the Vernier ASP, we can now protect the network in a number of ways. We can prevent physicians from unauthorized access to resources on the hospital's internal network, as well as prevent them from accessing network devices such as routers. We can ensure that if a physician's laptop becomes infected with a virus or a worm, it cannot launch a denial of service attack against the hospital's network infrastructure. Should a physician's computing device become infected, the Vernier ASP will automatically detect the infection and quarantine the device until it has been cleaned."

Networking Concepts Inc., a networking integration firm based in Columbia, Md., installed and configured the Vernier system at Howard County General Hospital.

St. Vincent's Hospital, one of the "100 Most Wired Health Care Facilities" according to Hospitals and Health Networks magazine, also implemented the Vernier ASP to provide secure, HIPAA-compliant access to its staff which included physicians, nurses and other healthcare workers.

"At St. Vincent's Hospital, we have a legal obligation to ensure that our patients' records are protected from security threats all the time. Our security system has to be foolproof," said Eddie Kilgore, information security officer of St. Vincent's Hospital based in Birmingham, Ala. "We found that the Vernier ASP enabled us to track any user's device on the network by their identity and define what network resources they can access and when. The result is total control over all the users on the network while still offering the most advanced services to our patients and staff. Additionally, unlike the competition, the Vernier ASP was easy to configure, eliminating complicated configuration chores."

"The majority of our healthcare customers have deployed the Vernier ASP to meet stringent HIPAA requirements. The Vernier ASP offers healthcare organizations the highest assurance of comprehensive network security and compliance with HIPAA and other security regulation requirements while enabling them to increase the level of network services to physicians and patients," said Bethany Mayer, vice president of marketing at Vernier.

The Vernier Adaptive Security Platform provides five layers of network security, designed to provide enterprises with the most rigorous and stringent security controls for their wired and wireless networks. The Vernier ASP includes: Trusted Network Design, Trusted Network Admission, Trusted Network Defense, Trusted Network Outbreak Management and Trusted Network Remediation. These layers reduce the possibility of an attack, and, if an attack occurs, resolve the attack immediately, while adapting policy to prevent future threats to the network. The result is an unprecedented level of network security and an assurance of network continuity.