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Concord Hospital uses Lancope’s StealthWatch to analyse networking traffic

Lancope : 24 September, 2008  (Application Story)
Concord Hospital in New Hampshire is using Lancope’s StealthWatch to analyse NetFlow traffic from its Nortel infrastructure to gain end-to-end network visibility, improve troubleshooting and enhance network security.
One of the 100 most wired hospitals in the USA, the Concord Hospital campus includes the main hospital plus many remote physician practices and clinics. The hospital IT network extends to 5,000 endpoints and includes many 10 gigabit and 1 gigabit links to facilitate the transfer of information. Concord Hospital has focused on business continuity for the past two years and built two new datacentres for high redundancy. With its sophisticated network, the network team had no way to mirror all traffic activity for analysis and troubleshooting. The only option was to utilise NetFlow data from its Nortel core switches.

After learning about Lancope's StealthWatch at a security conference, Concord Hospital selected StealthWatch Xe for NetFlow to capture traffic data from its existing Nortel infrastructure, while the StealthWatch Management Console (SMC) provides a flexible dashboard for presenting customisable views of actionable information for a variety of users, roles and needs. Since deploying StealthWatch, Concord Hospital pinpoints sources of network and security incidents much faster and more accurately than ever before.

'StealthWatch has saved us a great deal of time, especially with extremely complex troubleshooting,' said Mark Starry, manager of enterprise architecture and security for Concord Hospital. 'In one incident, we suspected spyware had been installed on some of our devices based on strange traffic patterns on an unused port. Immediately, StealthWatch detected the anomalous activity and revealed that misconfigured devices were the underlying issue.'

Similarly, StealthWatch has helped Concord's security team uncover some peer-to-peer (P2P) applications that its intrusion detection and prevention system was supposed to block. By finding the prohibited P2P activity, StealthWatch helped Concord restore much-needed bandwidth, remove potential security issues and improve its Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) policy.

'Troubleshooting is almost effortless with StealthWatch,' added Starry. 'Previously, when there was an incident, we would add mirrors and sniffers to track and replicate the event, and then manually comb through logs. We can now sort, analyze and baseline traffic with ease. In addition, we are using StealthWatch to gain application awareness, which enables us to quickly identify and respond to unauthorised application usage.'

Since Concord maintains several different office locations, the network security team must manage operations remotely. StealthWatch has provided the team with detailed visibility so that security resources can drill down to find the source of slow spots or performance issues without having to physically visit a specific location.

'Concord Hospital consistently embraces technology to ultimately improve its operations and its patient care,' said Harland LaVigne, president and chief executive officer of Lancope. 'StealthWatch improves network performance management and strengthens the security posture for Concord Hospital, which joins more than 30 healthcare institutions worldwide in recognizing the value of StealthWatch and the complete visibility it delivers across the enterprise.'
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