Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

Johns Hopkins Embraces Single-Sign On Technology

Simple badge taps let medical personnel quickly and securely log on to any of the institution's hundreds of publicly accessed hospital workstations.

Health Data Security: Tips And Tools
Health Data Security: Tips And Tools
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
IT personnel at Johns Hopkins Hospital Network were faced with a challenge: how to simplify the log on process at hundreds of public workstations--computers used throughout the institution, by a myriad of medical personnel--without risking a security breach? They've set their sights on Imprivata's enterprise single-sign-on (ESSO) technology called OneSign, to address the problem.

The ESSO tool, a type of "tap-and-go" technology, currently is being implemented in Johns Hopkins newest facilities, the Sheikh Zayed Tower and the Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children's Center. Dwight Raum, director of enterprise services at Johns Hopkins, in an interview with InformationWeek Healthcare, said the technology lets users walk up to a workstation and use a badge tap to authenticate themselves. "It's been a tremendous win for us in terms of time savings and user satisfaction," he said.

Hopkins facilities have hundreds of public workstations shared among thousands of users. Prior to implementing OneSign, workstations always were left logged on so users didn't have to sign in and out at all. There was no individual identity established at the workstation level and users were typically authenticated at the application level, to multiple applications per session.

This meant that IT couldn't determine how best to present apps to individual users. It also posed a security threat because accounts were always shared and IT had no idea which users were logging on to which workstations.

[ Is it time to re-engineer your clinical decision support system? See 10 Innovative Clinical Decision Support Programs. ]

Raum said another problem was that "... if a clinician had logged into a work station and a record opened to a specific patient and somebody came in behind them, they could see information they shouldn't be seeing so it's a privacy issue."

Fixing all these problems took time. "Overall, our ability to roll out single sign on and tap-n-go was really dependent upon us having really solid directory infrastructure in place already. We spent many years building tools to manage the infrastructure effectively. The Imprivata component allowed us to bridge that last mile of authentication to our users that were in the clinical space," Raum said.

The reduction in the number of times a clinician has to authenticate every single day in the course of providing care to patients is the single biggest advantage, Raum said. "The time savings is real because you're looking at several seconds per authentication that you're saving that provider and when you scale that across the number of individuals who are authenticating these apps the time savings is significant."

Although integrating the Imprivata technology itself took only hours, it took much longer to understand user workflow, said Raum. "That's where we spent a lot of our time. Change management was a huge part of what we had to do."

Get the new, all-digital Healthcare CIO 25 issue of InformationWeek Healthcare. It's our second annual honor roll of the health IT leaders driving healthcare's transformation. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Manchester United Suffers Cyberattack
Dark Reading Staff 11/23/2020
As 'Anywhere Work' Evolves, Security Will Be Key Challenge
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  11/23/2020
Cloud Security Startup Lightspin Emerges From Stealth
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  11/24/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-4626
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-30
IBM Cloud Pak for Security 1.3.0.1 (CP4S) could reveal sensitive information about the internal network to an authenticated user using a specially crafted HTTP request. IBM X-Force ID: 185362.
CVE-2020-4627
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-30
IBM Cloud Pak for Security 1.3.0.1(CP4S) potentially vulnerable to CVS Injection. A remote attacker could execute arbitrary commands on the system, caused by improper validation of csv file contents. IBM X-Force ID: 185367.
CVE-2020-4696
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-30
IBM Cloud Pak for Security 1.3.0.1(CP4S) does not invalidate session after logout which could allow an authenticated user to obtain sensitive information from the previous session. IBM X-Force ID: 186789.
CVE-2020-4900
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-30
IBM Business Automation Workflow 19.0.0.3 stores potentially sensitive information in log files that could be read by a local user. IBM X-Force ID: 190991.
CVE-2020-4624
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-30
IBM Cloud Pak for Security 1.3.0.1 (CP4S) uses weaker than expected cryptographic algorithms during negotiation could allow an attacker to decrypt sensitive information.