Netify have released our 2024 SD-WAN comparison blog article

SD WAN & Cybersecurity Providers & Vendors For Healthcare

Who are the top rated SD WAN & Cybersecurity Healthcare Providers and Vendors?

The top rated SD WAN & Cybersecurity providers and vendors for Healthcare are:

SD WAN Providers offering services to the Healthcare secure must offer compliance with frameworks and regulations which include HIPAA, UK NCSC Cyber Essentials, PCI DSS v3.0, SOX, CPRA, GDPR, FDA QSR, HITRUST CSF (HITRUST Cyber Security Framework) and FDA Cybersecurity Premarket Guidance.

SD WAN & Cybersecurity Providers & Vendors For Healthcare

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SD WAN solutions can be tailored to a client’s industry vertical to maximise efficiency and suitability for that sector. However, it is essential to understand what needs to be included and what to prioritise - ease of deployment and management, visibility over the entire infrastructure and advanced security for all apps and devices should first be considered.

“Today, approximately 30% of the world’s data volume is being generated by the healthcare industry. By 2025, the compound annual growth rate of data for healthcare will reach 36%. That’s 6% faster than manufacturing, 10% faster than financial services, and 11% faster than media & entertainment.” The Healthcare Data Explosion report from RBC Capital Markets

Implementing an SD WAN and SASE solution for the healthcare sector has many benefits, but also comes with a range of challenges, regulations and legal mandates that need to be considered. Larger networks come with increased availability and scalability but also increases the depth of potential security risks. There has been a 110% increase in major healthcare breaches over the past year, with the average cost of $7.1M per breach. Healthcare in particular is one of the most heavily regulated technology sectors, which is understandable as companies within the sector possess some of the most confidential client data. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is the US equivalent to the UK Data Protection Act 2018, which essentially prevents people and organisations from possessing and using inaccurate information on individuals. Following regulations and implementing features using the foundation of SASE, Zero Trust Security (including Privileged Access Management - PAM) and Secure Web Gateways (SWG) allow you to create the necessary security policy to comply with security regulations.

To increase the overall visibility into a network and thus drastically reduce the collateral risk of a breach (which may result in high fines and legal costs), monitoring and reporting tools are essential. Other points to consider include: user privileges and access levels, full visibility of every asset including all IoMT (Internet of Medical Things) devices, advanced security and whether a third-party management solution will be required.

The Netify research team have curated the top ten vendors and providers which are the best fit for clients in the healthcare business sector: Aryaka, BT Business, Cato Networks, CDW, Cisco Meraki, Colt, GTT, Lumen, Masergy, NTT and Open Systems. Read on to learn about the pros and cons of each provider, to help you decide on a suitable solution for your company.  

Note - Providers are listed alphabetically. 

  • Aryaka Managed SD WAN & SASE Cybersecurity

Aryaka tailors solutions to meet the specific needs of each of their client’s organisations. They focus on creating a smooth transition whilst delivering improved operations, application performance and security. Their SD WAN offering is delivered as a fully managed service which allows clients to focus their time on other business deployment needs. One of Aryaka’s SD WAN features is the ability to identify different traffic types, which allows for segmentation and the application of certain policies to each segment. This is an important security and performance feature for businesses with large numbers of IoMT/IoT devices - such as a healthcare company. The company also offer an as-a-service (a-a-S) approach (most prominently available with their SmartServices platform). The platform includes SmartInsights for powerful analytics, SmartSecure for improved security, SmartCloud to incorporate cloud/multi-cloud services, SmartOptimize for accelerated application performance and SmartConnect for improved global connectivity.

Pros Cons
Very strong customer service with high Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 65  (where the industry average is 12) Not ideal for smaller customers as Aryaka have a strong focus on providing connectivity for global organisations. 
Super fast private global network No DIY or co-managed service
Powerful web application for management (MyAryaka Cloud Portal)  

  • BT Managed SD WAN & SASE Cybersecurity

BT is one of the largest telecommunications companies and are a strong choice for clients based in the UK. They have the capability to add services from other underlay providers, including Cisco (both Meraki and Viptela), VMware, Versa Networks, Fortinet, Zscaler and Nokia. The BT solution is backed up by their acquisition of connectivity provider EE, offering network speeds of up to 10Gbps and 4G/5G connectivity, allowing roaming users to access the corporate network from anywhere. BT do not currently have a SASE solution, but they offer an extensive portfolio of security services including: firewall with identity-based clarification, network encryption and IPS, all of which can be managed via their central management dashboard.   BT are a good choice for healthcare companies because the CIO of the company spoke with CIO’s from the National Health Service (NHS) to discuss the transitioning of their infrastructure. It was decided that connectivity is one of the biggest benefits for collaboration between departments - video consultations between departments such as MRI and X-ray needed to be implemented. Connectivity for these NHS services is supplied by BT.

Pros  Cons
Globally recognised with a large presence As with other large providers, can be a slow process to raise a change or query
High speed 5G mobile network via EE No SASE solution
Fullly managed, allowing for more time to focus on other business development   
Allows 3rd party providers to connect to their backbone network  

  • Cato Networks SD WAN & SASE Cybersecurity

Cato Networks provide SD WAN and SASE solutions to over 900 enterprise customers across the globe. Powered by their private global network, their backbone is built on over 70 PoPs connected via multiple SLA-backed Internet providers. This is beneficial, because the PoPs permanently monitor client’s networks for issues such as latency, packet loss, interference and jitter, ensuring the best route is selected for each packet. Security is one of Cato’s strong points, as their SASE Cloud ensures that all locations, devices and users are connected securely and in the most optimal way possible. The security features available include: Firewall as a Service (FWaaS), Secure Web Gateway (SWG), Next-Generation Antivirus (NGAV) and Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB).

Pros Cons
Good range of SD WAN offerings Lacks a fully managed option, which requires clients to be more active in checking logs and acting on outages
Exclusive hardware (Cato Socket) allowing clients to connect into their backbone network from anywhere  No native support for cloud vendors such as AWS, Azure or Google 
DIY and co-managed offerings  
Excellent SASE services  

  • CDW Managed SD WAN & SASE Cybersecurity

CDW are able to adapt their solutions to the needs of each industry vertical, offering hardware, security, virtualisation, data storage and much more. The company also offers specialised solutions for healthcare, helping clients to digitally transform to improve patient outcomes and clinician efficiency whilst reducing operational expenses. The company offers a managed SASE service which seamlessly enables secure remote access - important for the healthcare industry as it allows patients to receive treatment more efficiently. An example of this is allowing doctors to travel out to patients, whilst still being connected to the hospital via a remote solution - this works in the same way for video consultations from home.

Pros Cons
Fully managed SD WAN and SASE Not as much brand awareness as other companies
Dedicated SASE solution with a range of features  
Team of certified engineers for support  

  • Cisco Meraki SD WAN & SASE Cybersecurity

Cisco Meraki is a market leader for the cloud-managed IT sector, with their product portfolio including: wireless, network hardware and security services. All of Meraki’s products are managed via a user-friendly web portal that is known for it’s simplicity due to a lack of CLI. The company’s connectivity offerings are strong, with SD WAN, Auto VPN connections and next-generation WiFi 6, each of which are ideal for a large infrastructure such as a hospital. Aware that standard IoMT/IoT devices aren’t compatible with standard 802.1x security protocols, Meraki created a feature called Identity PSK (iPSK) which combines private PSK with RADIUS authentication using MAC address to allow different PSKs to be set for specific devices or groups.   Meraki’s security offerings are strong and can be managed by their dedicated security team, Cisco Talos. The team monitors and defends customer networks, with the aim to identify new vulnerabilities. Cisco Umbrella is Meraki’s flexible security offering which is built up of features including: SWG, CASB, NGFW, DNS-layer security and interactive threat intelligence.

Pros Cons
Simplified support with a dedicated team for identifying risks Expensive licenses needed for all hardware/software
Use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify malware or unusual user behaviour No CLI which increases the learning curve for veteran Cisco users
Network industry leading back system  
User friendly cloud based dashboard  

  • Colt Managed SD WAN & SASE Cybersecurity

Colt’s SD WAN offering allows customers to utilise the Internet as a private business network. They have fibre lines connecting 212 cities to over 29000 buildings in 51 metropolitan areas, allowing users to benefit from flexible, responsive and reliable services as well as 24/7 operational monitoring. Colt’s services aim to increase collaborative and remote working flexibility, with improved access and performance of cloud-based services. Colt have partnered with Versa Networks, an industry leading SASE provider, to offer enhanced SASE solutions. Colt is also a good choice for companies with large numbers of remote workers, as their Remote Access feature is good for video consultations, offering high performance without compromising security.

Pros Cons
Caters to customers of all sizes No support for South America or parts of the Middle East
Good proactive monitoring and support Long lead times on support cases
Extensive Pan-European service coverage  

  • GTT Communications Managed SD WAN & SASE Cybersecurity

GTT Communications’ SD-WAN service benefits customers by increasing visibility, control and enhanced overall reliability. The company operates an extensive network with over 600 PoPs around the globe, reaching 260+ cities and 100Gbps lines from the core. Nationwide healthcare providers who handle high-volume traffic would notice significant advantages from utilising their backbone. GTT understand that simplicity is essential when it comes to transitioning to software defined networking and integrates networking and security capabilities into a single cloud-based service.   GTT partner with Palo Alto Networks to provide a managed SASE service, amplifying overall security, efficiency and network control. The solution utilises the best networking and security capabilities from GTT and Palo Alto to offer network access and the usage of cloud applications from any location or device. This offers users access to networking based on their identity, device and/or application, as opposed to traditional IP address or physical location - advantageous for delegating access to devices such as IoMT.

Pros Cons
A top-ranked Global Tier-1 IP network Not an ideal solution for SMEs 
100Gbps fibre connections Less brand awareness  when compared to other companies
Both fully managed and DIY with good transparency  Customers must select their underlying technology
24/7 security monitoring and incident response  

  • Lumen Managed SD WAN & SASE Cybersecurity

Targeting larger organisations that require global WAN connectivity, Lumen provides an all-in-one platform that focuses heavily on security and availability whilst also being cost effective. The company is recognized as a top-tier global WAN provider with private fibre lines throughout North America, Latin America, EMEA and Asia Pacific. Lumen also holds partnerships with Cisco (Meraki and Viptela), Versa Networks and VMware.   Lumen provides SASE in a simplified platform that secures the network with powerful analytics, increased visibility and the possibility to optimise specific application performance - highly beneficial to IoMT devices. Lumen aim to enhance healthcare through technology by modernising communications between medical experts and patients and implementing the latest connected health technology and enhanced predictions for patient data whilst ensuring overall security.

Pros Cons
Expansive backbone network ideal for global coverage Not ideal for DIY
Useful cost saving tool on their website Customers claim that the implementation process can take time
Optional (for a fee)  on-site installation and maintenance at each SD WAN site   
Strong security services   

  • Masergy Managed SD WAN & SASE Cybersecurity

Masergy are pioneers in the software-defined network space, offering a range of solutions including SD WAN, SASE and Microsoft Teams all via their AI powered management portal. Each of these services run on Masergy’s private networks which provides clients with lower latency and increased security. They have multiple NOCs and SOCs spread over three continents, providing coverage and 24/7 monitoring to over 100 countries. Aware of the challenges that healthcare organisations face, Masergy have a solution in place which tackles issues such as support for new and legacy IoMT devices, offering advanced telemedicine services and securely connects with an ecosystem of medical and technical partners. One current customer said “COVID-19 spiked our telemedicine usage to 100%, and our Masergy network never even hiccuped.”   Masergy’s SASE solution uses AI and big data to analyse and provide connectivity that is high speed without compromising overall security. The below image shows the security services that customers can choose between depending on desired level of protection, managed services and support.

Pros Cons
Masergy guarantee 100% availability to the following: SD WAN sites confirgured for high availability, direct cloud connections and packet delivery (edge-to-edge) Limited cloud acces, but Masergy do allow 3rd party cloud connections
Strong AI use including AI-enabled SASE Fully managed solution only
AI powered management portal which provides maximum coverage for the network, cloud applications, security and AIOps with clear real-time analytics and controls   

  • NTT Managed SD WAN & SASE Cybersecurity

NTT Global offer comprehensive managed SD WAN solutions with a tier-1 IP transit backbone spanning over 190 countries and leveraging over 1000 local ISP providers. Based in Japan, the company have dominance across the Asia-Pacific region, but do lack coverage in areas such as Latin America. Other product offerings include managed IT, managed security and connectivity to 10 major cloud service providers. NTT work with Belgian healthcare provider ISPPC to create a hyperconnected patient care environment across their 5 hospitals, various clinics, retirement homes and other locations. The company implements technologies such as collaboration tools, interactive services, management, network, security and storage. It is important to note that NTT doesn’t provide a SASE solution, but does offer SWG, advanced analytics, next-gen firewall, URL filtering and a full suite of DDoS protection services.

Pros Cons
Great coverage in Asia No dedicated SASE solution
Fully managed SD WAN and security services Lack of coverage in South America

  • Open Systems SD WAN & SASE Cybersecurity

Open Systems have a strong focus on security, with expertise in innovating new solutions to meet unique customer requirements, taking industry and business needs into consideration. The healthcare industry is no exception and an extract from the Open Systems website reads, “Recently, a hospital we worked with was able to free up space for additional ICU beds, especially important during the pandemic, by outsourcing its data center and cybersecurity management.” You can find the Open Systems healthcare industry brief Here , which clearly breaks down each challenge that businesses in the industry are facing. An example of this is that Open Systems recognise that some legacy equipment is still business-critical (such as x-ray or MRI machines). The company offer their next-generation firewalls for advanced security, with features such as DNS filtering, SWG and IDS/IPS. A single-pane-of-glass customer portal provides enhanced visibility and reporting, allowing clients to define global security policies (such as HIPAA and GDPR) ensuring that they are compliant.   Open Systems also offer their own advanced SASE solution, known as SASE+, which incorporates a global team of security experts to constantly monitor client’s networks, with features such as: Managed Detection and Response (MDR), IDS/IPS, NGFW and a Cloud Sandbox for development and analysis.

Pros Cons
Offers advanced SASE Cost can be high
Net Promoter Score of 70, customer retention rate is 98% with 97% customer satisfaction rates Low brand awareness compared to other providers 
Customer support solely consists of level 3 engineers for a high level of expertise  
Useful PDF resources on Open System's website  

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