Fullerton Health Builds a Secure SASE Linking 550 Locations and the Cloud, Thanks to Cato
The Challenge: How to Cope Efficiently with Rapid Data Growth and Increasing Security Risks
Secure communications are essential for any organization, particularly for a large, regulated healthcare provider holding sensitive health data for thousands of patients.
Such was the case for Fullerton Health. The vertically integrated provider of accessible, affordable healthcare maintains a network of more than 550 healthcare facilities across nine Asia Pacific countries. Thanks to rapid growth and acquisitions, connectivity and security among facilities and Fullerton Health’s Singapore headquarters was a complex affair.
“Before Cato, there was no integrated network to link regional offices and local sites, says Alvin Lim, Group Technology and Information Security Director at Fullerton Health, Singapore. “Local sites were managed independently; security was provided by individual firewalls. We were looking to enhance security by improving monitoring of our networks.”
Like many healthcare organizations, Fullerton Health grappled with exponential electronic data growth due to rapid digitization. Rising security risks and threat actors were becoming increasingly lethal, not to mention sophisticated. “Our huge data growth was leading to traffic monitoring and bandwidth management challenges,” says Lim. “We take the trust our patients have in our ability to protect their medical records and personal data very seriously. We are always mindful of possible data breaches and constantly look for ways to protect our data.
Fullerton Health Considers Network Alternatives, Chooses Cato
Lim decided it was time to look for a single integrated secure network solution for all its locations and needs.
“We looked at several alternatives, including VPNs over the public Internet, which were not ideal, and leased lines, which are expensive, slow, and offer little security.”
“We also looked at SD-WAN, which would have required backhauling data to data centers,” says Lim.
In the end, Lim decided a Cato SASE was the answer. It would inspect and secure data at multiple points of presence and was particularly suited to remote work, a growing component of Fullerton’s business. Lim liked that Cato had good coverage in the Asia Pacific
Cato SASE Cloud optimally connects all enterprise network resources into a secure global, cloud-native service, including branch locations, the hybrid workforce, and physical and cloud data centers. Connecting a location to Cato is just a matter of installing a simple Cato Socket appliance that links automatically to one of Cato’s 75+ Points of Presence (PoPs) and its fast, global private backbone. Cato Sockets, Cato’s edge SD-WAN devices, extend the Cato SASE Cloud to locate, providing prioritized and resilient connectivity over multiple last-mile links. At the same time, Cato Client and Clientless access enables secure and optimized application access for users everywhere, including at home and on the road.
Cato’s cloud-native security edge, Cato SSE 360, converges a Secure Web Gateway (SWG), Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), Data Loss Prevention (DLP), Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), and Firewall as a Service (FWaaS) with Advanced Threat Protection. It fully enforces granular corporate access policies on all applications on-premises and in the cloud, protecting users against threats and preventing sensitive data loss.
Immediately Lim was impressed with his Cato contacts. “They were wonderful people, very easy to work with,” says Lim, “and had a lot of technical knowledge and experience. We felt we could communicate very freely with them.” Cato’s pricing was also very competitive, and Lim liked that security was tightly integrated with the solution.
Deployment of the Cato SASE to all of Fullerton’s sites was easy, even during a global pandemic.
“Remote sites with no IT staff had no problems connecting the Cato Socket to their local circuits, and we could activate each site through a central portal. It really was plug-and-play for us.”
Fullerton Health connected all its locations over a single year, 2022, even as the Covid-19 pandemic raged.
Cato Delivers Bang for the Buck
The benefits of the Cato SASE have been dramatic. “Cato gave Fullerton Health a way to connect all those disparate entities and locations, including remote users and the cloud, into a single common, fast, secure transport channel,” says Lim. “It lowered the cost of our investment in telecommunications links by 30 percent compared to alternatives and gave us fast, dedicated connectivity to our cloud providers. And it simplified security and secure remote access, which both happen at its numerous points of presence, rather than individual connections to a central firewall.”
Lim is impressed with Cato’s support and continual ideas for improving his organization’s network. “Cato support is very responsive, and Cato is always adding value in their product offerings,” he says. “I would recommend the Cato SASE solution to any healthcare organization that needs simple yet very secure connectivity among regional and local sites, remote users, and the cloud.”