- High quality, multi-layered medical images are impacted by security software protecting endpoint workstations
- Radiology departments struggle with slow load of patient images caused by anti-virus (AV) scanning
- Learn how Moffitt Cancer Center secures their radiology workstations while preserving usability and performance
Early detection is key to accurate diagnosis and treatment, and medical devices are constantly evolving, taking advantage of the latest available technology. Medical facilities invest millions in the most advanced imaging equipment and the picture archiving communication systems (PACS) that house the patients’ images.
However, there is a core problem that many radiology departments face, the slow load of images from the centralized PACS onto the dedicated radiology workstations. The root of the problem is the anti-virus (AV) software on the workstations – software that’s designed to protect devices from malware is negatively affecting the radiologists’ ability to do their job.
AV products are effective in preventing known malware from infecting a PC by actively screening and analyzing every file that comes through using a real-time scan feature. Because medical image files use multiple layers to render a highly detailed patient image, the AV software must scan each layer that makes up a single image, causing a massive slowdown that can affect image quality and the speed of receiving patient images.
Radiology departments recognize the importance of protecting their machines from malware, but can’t afford to sacrifice speed and image resolution, especially when patients’ lives may quite literally depend on it.
To achieve a compromise between radiology technicians and IT security experts, some teams have chosen to completely remove internet access from all radiology workstations to safeguard the devices while allowing direct access to the patient images without interference from AV scanning. Unfortunately, this has not stopped malware from infecting the workstations: radiologist can still access corporate networks and their email from the workstations, and malware still finds a way to get through by using Microsoft Office documents and PDFs sent as email attachments.
Application Isolation Reduces Radiology Machine Bloat
Dave Summitt, Moffitt’s Chief Information Security Officer, understood the need to get endpoint security out of the image processing path while still securing workstations against the most common attack vectors. He decided to test application isolation of the Microsoft Office and PDF documents using Bromium Secure Files.
The result is a win for both radiology and IT teams. Endpoint security does not get in the way of radiologists having access to high resolution, multilayered files, so the images are received quickly and without delay. At the same time, radiology workstations are no longer in danger of getting infected by malware, with Bromium hardware-enforced application isolation securely containing all threats inside disposable micro-virtual machines.
To learn more, read the Moffitt Cancer Center case study to see how Dave’s team’s innovative approach solved a major challenge that has plagued healthcare providers for a long time. You can also contact us or request a demo.