ARG and Ntirety Secure AbsoluteCare’s IT Infrastructure
January 01 by Abby McHenry
AbsoluteCare is a leading healthcare provider that focuses on providing comprehensive and preventative care to the most vulnerable populations in the United States. Since 2000, AbsoluteCare has enabled the treatment of thousands of chronically ill patients by using innovative health management tools.
ARG is a technology consultancy dedicated to helping companies find the right match for their technological needs, and is a trusted partner of Ntirety. ARG has helped more than 4,000 companies connect with the right partner for their specific IT, telephony, and networking needs for over 30 years.
With a large number of Protected Health Information (PHI) in their data warehouse, it was essential for AbsoluteCare to guard against potential threats. The healthcare provider works with insurance providers to find specific individuals in need of their services and in order to safely store data and properly process information AbsoluteCare needed the right partner.
As a growing company, in 2016 AbsoluteCare decided it would be best to reduce reliance on some of its own dated technology stacks and start with a clean slate.
AbsoluteCare’s previous vendors did not have the database management and database architecture expertise that was needed to manage the large amount of information that the healthcare provider was responsible for. Cybersecurity was handled by multiple partners, increasing cost, risk, and complexity.
The company utilized Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) services from their previous vendor, but they struggled with performance issues. VDI is important for AbsoluteCare as a company because they have several applications that require desktops to be on the same Local Area Network (LAN) as their servers, which are in the data centers. A functioning VDI was a requirement for the business to operate.
As a growing business in the healthcare industry, AbsoluteCare works with large health insurance companies. Another part of AbsoluteCare’s business operations that is not as obvious is data management. In order to deliver quality patient-facing programs and associated technologies, data is needed to provide a solid return on investment (ROI). AbsoluteCare analyzes a lot of Protected Health Information (PHI) for these payers, which needed to be securely stored away from the world.
This meant that AbsoluteCare would need HITRUST certification, and two years after starting their IT infrastructure from scratch, they were able to achieve that goal. With the coming years, however, additional HITRUST requirements would be added, and a higher level of compliance would be a part of these new requirements.
AbsoluteCare’s previous vendor did not have the transparency when it came to managed security functions, including logging, monitoring, and alerting. The previous vendor could not show evidence and the confidence needed to show assessors and auditors that the necessary security work was being done. The company had matured to the point where they realized they needed to be able to scale faster and level up on security to address expanding requirements due to their rapid business growth- increased staff, increased PHI data, and growing compliance requirements.
AbsoluteCare turned to ARG to help them find a good match for their infrastructure and security needs. ARG Senior Technology Advisor Cassie Diehl surveyed the marketplace to find a provider that met AbsoluteCare National IT Director Chris Becker’s specific qualifications for a comprehensive multi-faceted secure solution. Becker was able to identify a gap between what their current vendor offers, then translate the business’s needs to technical specifications with a vision of their ideal provider. Working with Diehl, Becker created a list of requirements that would align the IT organization to better meet the business’s needs. In early 2020, AbsoluteCare signed the contract with Ntirety after a comprehensive selection process led by ARG.
Ntirety’s database offering and ability to manage AbsoluteCare’s data warehouse while handling security in a comprehensive manner clearly separated Ntirety from the competition. Ntirety was able to provide a complete and transparent security solution that gave AbsoluteCare confidence and peace of mind in their chosen provider.
Ntirety’s VDI fulfilled AbsoluteCare’s needs to properly execute business tasks. Ntirety’s Endpoint Detection Response (XDR) provided detection and protection for the business from malware. Through Ntirety’s Disaster Recovery services, AbsoluteCare was safeguarded against attacks and downtime.
Ntirety provides the AbsoluteCare team with a clear-run book which provides actual, actionable documentation that can be followed by the team and has enough details to help new people understand the process. Ntirety’s Security Operations Center as a Service (SOCaaS) and Compliance as a Service (CaaS) helps to keep us secure and compliant.
Ntirety’s Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) keeps AbsoluteCare reliably connected to high performing servers, systems, and virtual desktops. Ntirety’s Network Operations Center (NOCaaS) provides AbsoluteCare with enterprise backend network and system support, plus updates and upgrades. The database was backed up to Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for durability and ease of access if needed. Ntirety chose Amazon S3 for its “industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance.” Finally, DBAaaS enables AbsoluteCare to access database expertise with a simple email or phone call.
“Our data is extremely important to us and our partners, and we cannot afford for it to get in the wrong hands,” Becker said. “We are grateful for our partnership with Ntirety, who keeps our data safe and protected from unknown threats.”
Thanks to Diehl and Becker’s hard work, AbsoluteCare was able to get connected with the Ntirety team. Ntirety was able to meet all of AbsoluteCare’s requirements from primary infrastructure to robust backup, to Disaster Recovery (DR). ARG considers Disaster Recovery a critical part of having a secure cyber environment and is happy when clients can sleep better at night knowing their IT infrastructure is in good hands. Ntirety aided the business in maintaining a strong security posture and provided deep domain expertise that allowed them to manage everything down to onsite assets.
With the growing number of PHI and servers the business was responsible for managing, a reliable provider was a must. Through Ntirety, AbsoluteCare gained full access to activity in their security infrastructure, including full access to reporting from the SIEM, what the criticality levels were so the business could properly adjust them, and send alerts. The information Ntirety provided met the exact needs of AbsoluteCare.
“Ntirety’s comprehensive security suite has been an impressive security shield for our business,” said Becker. “Additionally, we don’t have the budget to stand up our own internal infrastructure or internally hire the expertise required to protect against today’s artful criminals.”
AbsoluteCare could continue to comply with HITRUST requirements with Ntirety’s help in securing data. The healthcare provider could reliably use VDI through Ntirety and could trust that operations would run smoothly.
In addition to the HITRUST requirements, some customers wanted additional justification in order to entrust AbsoluteCare with their personal data, and Ntirety was able to stand as proof that their data was safe.
Having clear documentation from comprehensive Ntirety “run books” that had all the details needed to understand the AbsoluteCare infrastructure, gave Becker and team additional confidence in working with Ntirety as a partner.