Liaison Brings Integrated Security to Healthcare IT Platforms

by HCE Exchange on April 5, 2016

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In a world of healthcare start-ups, Liaison Technologies stands out from the crowd, especially in 2014 when the company was lauded with numerous honors and recognitions.

In November 2014, for example, the company was included on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500, placing it among the fastest-growing North America technology companies.

Gartner also named Liaison a leader in the 2014 Magic Quadrant for Integration Brokerage, and Liaison’s team of entrepreneurs and innovators were honored with 10 medals at the Golden Bridge Awards.

Nine Live Media included the company on its MSPmentor 501 Global Edition, ranking it rather highly at No. 7. Network Products Guide included Liaison as a finalist in its 2014 Hot Companies and Best Product Awards, and it was part of the Georgia Fast 40 list of companies. Finally, Talkin’ Cloud 100 named Liaison among the top 25 cloud service providers in the United States.

Bob Renner, chief executive officer, said these honors reflect the company’s mission to provide secure, cloud-based data management and integration services and solutions around the world.

Currently, he said, Liaison is focused on capturing a healthcare marketplace that is desperate to have its platforms interact with each other.

Securing and encrypting data at the source

There are three features of data protection that Liaison integrates: encryption, tokenization, and key management.

Liaison has developed “the first data security solution that integrates strong encryption, centralized key management, and a new variation on tokenization,” known as Format Preserving Tokenization, Renner said. His team has achieved all of this with one solution, Liaison Protect.

Liaison Protect encrypts all of an organization’s stored data across the system’s infrastructure. No matter where you send that data, it is encrypted.

However, there’s an “additional layer of protection to encryption,” Renner said, with tokenization. Liaison has pioneered Tokenization as a Service (TaaS).

Tokens, also known as surrogates, replace the original data, while the encrypted data is stored in a data vault, as opposed to sending it back to its originating source or database.

Format Preserving Tokenization, which replaces the original data, is a reference to that data without presenting a mathematical relationship that would link the two. For this reason, the token can be used in any file, application, database, or backup medium.

If a cybercriminal would happen to access one of these tokens, it is of no value. A video on the Liaison website compares the token “to a poker chip outside of a casino.”

Liaison’s centralized key manager generates, distributes, rotates, revokes, and deletes all keys. This means, Renner said, that only authorized users can access the data.

He further pointed out that Liaison Protect not only reflects best practices for data protection, but it also frees the data to be used across databases, in applications, and on devices.

Understanding the importance of data protection

It’s vital that executives realize just how vulnerable the majority of their data is, Renner said, whether they’re looking at patient records, payment information, or EMR security. The consequences of this information being hacked and breached are far-reaching and destructive.

Most hackers and cybercriminals have learned to get around firewalls and access controls, which is why Liaison believes information must be protected at its source.

Liaison Protect covers all data types, no matter what the platform, and it reduces the scope of regulatory audits and minimizes the cost of compliance, Renner said.

He also believes Liaison’s experience with providing security in other industries makes it uniquely qualified to handle healthcare IT.

“Our experience with data management and security within the financial industry informs our solutions for healthcare,” he said.

Offering solutions that favor integration

According to Renner, all of Liaison’s solutions are “rooted in cloud-based interoperability.” Its other solutions beyond Liaison Protect include EMR-Link, which eliminates re-entry of data into a lab-ordering system and enables automatic validation of medical necessity and secure sharing of lab reports.

Liaison Direct Messaging provides a portal that protects messaging among providers within the organization. Its Alloy Health Platform™ creates a Virtual Health Record (VHR) that supports data aggregation, harmonization, and curation in order to enhance clinical trials.

As the company’s website, www.liaison.com, explains, the Liaison Alloy Health Platform™ provides “complete, real-time visibility…achieved through the data-visualization layer, LENS,” and features “an architecture based on big-data infrastructure” that adds “value in relationship discovery and taking actions on top insights.”

It is also compatible with disparate EHRs, Renner said.

Whether it’s managed services, such as integrating systems, data, and processes; cloud services that will increase the flexibility of data within your system; consulting services that offer the benefit of an outsider’s perspective on business-process integration (BPI), application integration, business-process management (BPM), master-data management (MDM), and various vendor platforms, including TIBCO, IBM, Pegasystems, Software AG, among others; or professional services that go beyond technology and into tactics, processes, and staff, Renner made it clear that Liaison is interested in making your organization as efficient and cost-effective as possible.

“Our solutions are tailored as every environment and situation is different,” Renner said. “We’ve made our business about being flexible and open to our customers, and the core competency we’ve built up and concentrated in Alloy proves this. It is a little bit difficult to find professionals who have spent the last 10 years doing exactly what we’re doing with integration and data management.”

by Pete Fernbaugh

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