Case Study: Developing Secure Systems in Healthcare

The Challenge:

The mission objective of the client’s program is to seamlessly deliver critical information to Military Health System (MHS) stakeholders within an exceedingly complex and evolving technology construct to better enhance operational decision-making. A key component, Sentar’s Enterprise Intelligence and Data Solutions (EIDS) Cyber Team, focuses on Risk Management Framework (RMF) support, policy development and evidence collection for Authority to Operate (ATO)/Risk Assessment efforts, Assured Compliance Assessment Solution (ACAS) scanning, Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP) scanning and Compromised Key List (CKL) validation.

The Solution:

The Cyber Team achieved recognition through several key activities and accomplishments including improved Information Assurance Vulnerability Management (IAVM) compliance accountability, more efficient and successful RMF results, and an innovative code analysis and remediation progression.

In addition to ongoing continuous monitoring and compliance activities, the program Cyber team is working to bring state-of-the-art technology forward within cyber-enabled (vs. inhibited) systems. Key hallmark system examples include:

  • One new system aggregates legacy health data into a single longitudinal health record for each patient to be known as the Legacy Data Consolidation Solution.
  • Another system being introduced, the Artificial Intelligence Decompensation Expert Server, uses artificial intelligence to assist healthcare providers at MHS intensive care units in determining the likelihood of a patient experiencing sepsis.
  • A third involves contact tracing of service members utilizing Internet of Things (IoT) devices and ingesting that data into the systems’ existing data science toolset. In each instance, the Sentar Cyber team is responsible for assessing the risks that the new technology poses to both native systems and the larger Agency as a whole.

The Mission Impact:

During 2020, the lean Cyber Team of ten Sentar Cyber SMEs, made several notable accomplishments:

  • Migrated four major systems into Amazon Web Services (AWS) within a groundbreaking 16 weeks, setting a record for the fastest AWS migration in the DoD. This effort was recognized, receiving the 2020 Technical Project Technical Team of the year award given by the Charleston Engineers Joint Council and PMI’s Charleston Chapter.
  • Helped standup the first-ever DoD (and third federal) Amazon Electronic Medical Record Cluster.
  • Established a benchmark, repeatable approach to planning and facilitating critical continuous monitoring activities (e.g., RMF package updates, ACAS scans, code analysis process, vulnerability findings and POA&M submissions, IAVM Alert/Bullet compliance and reporting), utilized by more than 50 Enterprise systems engineers, and touted by DHA leadership as an example by which others should follow.

As a result, the program’s Cyber Team has received frequent recognition for critical impact to hallmark system deployments such as the examples noted above. Moreover, they have proven adept at integrating cyber within challenging technology requirements while operating in concert with (vs. contradiction to) myriad government and industry partner objectives and ambitions.

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