The UMC Utrecht chooses Conscia Managed Security Services

Patient care is in excellent hands at The UMC Utrecht. Specialist work is performed by experts. With this in mind, the hospital decided to outsource the health monitoring and security of its IT systems. The hardware remains the property of UMCU, but the management is now in the hands of Conscia’s specialists.

The UMC Utrecht works every day to further improve human care and health. The medical center wants to be at the forefront of this. By entering into unique collaborations, The UMC Utrecht wants to make a difference and add more value to people’s lives. As IT plays an increasingly important role in healthcare, protecting the digital infrastructure is vital. Systems must continue to run and uninvited guests must be kept out of the network. The existing Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) that was supposed to take care of this had to be replaced. The end of the contract was in sight, and it did not fully meet the future wishes of UMC Utrecht.

We had taken various measures to protect our infrastructure but had difficulty seeing if they worked as intended. Administration and control required too much of our people, which meant we were not able to properly appreciate the value of the IPS services. We were notified if something was wrong, but otherwise, we had little control over the status of our security. Looking for insight and control, we came to the conclusion that things could be done differently, and we decided to outsource the management to Conscia “, says Nick Teters, Product Owner Network & Security at UMC Utrecht.

Nick Teters, Product Owner Netwerk & Security at The UMC Utrecht

In collaboration with Conscia, it was decided to switch to a managed service that offers both health monitoring and management of security incidents. The complete administration is outsourced, while The UMC Utrecht remains the owner of the hardware and can also monitor the backend of the system. Not only via a dashboard, but also by monitoring the security systems. In addition, The UMC Utrecht’s security team has the opportunity to customize the services if necessary, by using tickets. Thanks to this hybrid form of outsourced administration, The UMC Utrecht has greater insight and retains control, while reducing management pressure.

Mapping Challenges

The UMC Utrecht’s IT challenge was mapped in a joint preliminary process. A solution design was designed through workshops and consultations following The UMC Utrecht’s wishes.

Teters: “The flexible approach and the various options in Conscia’s managed service appeals to us. It is not an all-or-nothing choice, we were allowed to express our wishes, and based on them a tailor-made plan was laid out. We experience the proactive attitude and thinking along and participating as very pleasant.

An additional challenge was the time pressure. The existing services expired, so an alternative had to be found and implemented quickly. Conscia solved this by taking over the old services as they were, and then quickly expanding them to the desired level.

Teters: “The IPS service has been completely fine-tuned based on our wishes, and if we would like to change something, it is easy to arrange. This is a nice combination. Conscia takes over a large part of our work, while we still retain control over our systems. Transparency is very important to us. The collaboration is very pleasant. You can purchase this technology from multiple parties, which is not that complicated, but how you work together and tackle the challenges together – that is what makes a difference.”

Everything under control

The UMC Utrecht now has a 24/7 customer team at Conscia, consisting of professionals who are at least Cisco Certified Networking Professional (CCNP)+ or equivalent certified. Conscia provides monitoring and the hybrid management service from its own Network Operations Center (NOC) and Security Operations Center (SOC). After the takeover of management, the service was further expanded to include monitoring of IPS Events and Security Intelligence Events.

The UMC Utrecht

Teters: “Making your own SOC is only possible for very large organisations. Moreover, you also have to hire the right people for it. By using Conscia’s SOC we move around that and have found a solution that suits us much better.

An additional benefit is that The UMC Utrecht already collaborated with Conscia on network management. Although this is in a slightly different ballpark, it is easy to make connections and the specialists can switch between them more quickly.

Teters: “Conscia has years of experience in security, but not in providing security as a managed service. However, due to the proposed joint approach of this service, we have dared to take this step without any doubt. From day 1, Conscia’s specialists have proven to deal with this in the same way, they deal with our network management. In that regard, we entered this together with a positive outcome for both parties. The biggest gain is of course in the professional management of the systems. We take care of the patients, and Conscia keeps our IT environment healthy.