A message to healthcare executives: It’s not enough to build a fortress

During my candid conversations with healthcare executives across the country, there have been some surprising moments and a genuine unity of purpose. We are stronger together, and we will stand together. The blueprint I have shared includes being ready with the right leadership, process, technology and ecosystems.
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If someone had told me 90 days ago that I would spend the early part of autumn urging other healthcare industry leaders to consider the cybersecurity and resilience of their own organizations, I am not sure I would have believed it.

Yet, this is exactly the right place to be. I am fulfilling a pledge that Nuance made shortly after we were struck by the NotPetya malware attack on June 27:  To share the lessons we learned, and help our clients and peers protect themselves from future incidents.

We firmly believe that our common defense against these criminals is stronger when we all stand together.  The message I have been sharing with small groups across the country over the past few weeks is that cybercrime is growing in frequency and sophistication. It is a matter of when – and not if –  organizations will be victimized.

During my candid conversations with healthcare executives, there have been some surprising moments and a genuine unity of purpose. We are stronger together, and we will stand together against this common adversary.

We are humbled by the warm reception from our clients and industry peers as we share our story.  Their loyalty has touched us deeply, and this week we were so gratified to hear from Black Book Research that in addition to our leading rankings, 94 percent of Nuance clients praised our malware incident recovery efforts.

As we move forward, audiences ask about our long game. Where does Nuance go from here?  How does a recovery effort maintain its vigor once a cyberattack incident is safely in the rear-view mirror?  How do we keep the momentum going to continue strengthening and improving your systems?

I explain that we treat the process like a marathon.  We continue to devote leadership and resources to being even stronger than we were before the incident.  We don’t assume that just because the technology recovery is complete that we can go back to business as usual.

My answer is that it is not enough to build a fortress around your company and hope for the best. The blueprint I have shared during these conversations includes being ready with the right leadership, process, technology and ecosystems.

For Nuance, this boiled down to resilience.  Resilience in systems, leadership and company spirit.  Resilience is more than a rallying cry, it is a way of life for us.

I found the perspective of Yossi Sheffi, Director of the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics, of interest.  In his book The Power of Resilience: How the Best Companies Manage the Unexpected, he states:

 “Unlike insurance, which pays off only in crisis, resilience drives everyday improvements in costs, operations, revenues, reputation and agility. A company’s ability to confidently manage its risks implies that it can take strategic risks to create growth.”

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Satish Maripuri

About Satish Maripuri

Satish Maripuri is the executive vice president and general manager of Nuance’s Healthcare division, overseeing all operational aspects of the business, including innovation strategy, product development, marketing, sales, partnerships, and client relationships across the company’s healthcare solutions portfolio. Under Satish’s leadership, Nuance Healthcare returned to growth from a 4% decline to 9% growth within three years. Satish is passionate about the criticality of purpose-driven culture and leadership to drive business growth. He has more than 28 years of management experience in enterprise software, SaaS solutions, natural language processing (NLP), artificial Intelligence (AI), international operations, global mobile workforces, and cloud services. Prior to joining Nuance in 2012, Satish held several executive leadership positions at global technology companies, including Solera Holdings, Lionbridge Technologies, and Imprivata. Satish holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Andhra University and M.S. degree in Computer Engineering from Northeastern University.