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How This Healthcare Association Uses Advanced AI-Based Endpoint Protection to Stay Virus-Free

A patient is rushed to the hospital, barely clinging to life. When the paramedics arrive, they’re turned away—the facility has been crippled by ransomware. While the paramedics are enroute to a secondary facility, the patient passes away.

It’s a nightmare scenario for any healthcare provider. And it’s one that IT leadership at healthcare association KHWE (Katholische Hospitalvereinigung Weser-Egge) wanted to ensure would never happen at any of its facilities.

Located in East Westphalia-Lippe, Germany, KHWE operates four hospitals, two medical care centers, five retirement homes, and five outpatient nursing services stations. With over 3,000 employees,  KHWE also operates its own healthcare training facility. Food supply, logistics, and cleaning services are handled by KEW Services, a subsidiary of the association.

The data maintained and managed by KHWE could be valuable to criminals. And if the hospital’s network is taken offline by malware or ransomware, lives could be at stake. Bearing this in mind, the hospital recognized the need to upgrade its existing cybersecurity solution.

“Our old system combined a firewall, endpoint protection, encryption, and several other services in a single, centralized interface,” explains Maik Hielscher, IT System Infrastructure Administrator at KHWE. “Unfortunately, there were significant issues with that system — we weren’t satisfied with how it was performing, especially in regard to the high resource consumption of its endpoint protection. We began seeking an alternative with help from our local IT partner, Gronemeyer IT.”

This would eventually lead them to CylancePROTECT®, BlackBerry’s advanced AI-powered endpoint protection platform (EPP). A brief demo was all it took for KHWE’s IT team to make their decision. They were particularly impressed by the solution’s light resource footprint, enabling it to provide preventative endpoint security while running in tandem with existing security solutions.

In close collaboration with Gronemeyer IT, KHWE executed a remote deployment of both CylancePROTECT and CylancePROTECT® Mobile. With a planned goal of 75% coverage over three months, the rollout involved a large number of clients across multiple facilities. The team also had to contend with newly tightened COVID-19 restrictions, most notably limitations on human contact.

“The rollout was incredibly smooth,” says Jens Haferbeck, Technical Manager at Gronemeyer IT. “It was a collaborative effort based on a long-standing partnership. And once the rollout was finished, administration was seamlessly transitioned back to KHWE’s in-house IT department.”

Thanks to CylancePROTECT, users at KHWE’s many offices and facilities can access its network without risk. The health data contained within that network is now safeguarded by BlackBerry’s prevention-first endpoint security, keeping both patients and personnel safe. Best of all, this is all achieved with a minimal resource footprint.

“There is a clear improvement over our previous system,” concludes Hielscher. “We have noticed that with our new endpoint protection, the CPU and RAM load on our servers is a great deal lower. More importantly, as an IT system administrator, I sleep better knowing CylancePROTECT is keeping our systems secure — I know how good the product is.”

To learn more about KHWE's experience, read the full case study.

Baldeep Dogra

About Baldeep Dogra

Baldeep Dogra is Director of Product Marketing at BlackBerry.