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Nursing Firm Uses Concentric AI To Boost Data Risk Management

Nurse triage service Company Nurse adopted Concentric AI to enhance its data risk management practices. Learn about the implementation of the AI-based security software.

Slips, trips, and falls. Dehydration. Repetitive strains. Being struck by an object. Overexertion. Possible exposure to harmful substances. All these are examples of injuries and health conditions that can occur in the workplace. In 2020 alone, the Operational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) reported more than 2.65 million workplace injuries across the U.S.

Helping employees and their employers address workplace injuries is how nurse triage service Company Nurse was born. When the company started 25 years ago, it had one mission: to facilitate workers’ compensation by providing injured employees compassionate access to medical providers and reducing claims costs for employers. It started with a sole call center in Scottsdale, Ariz., that initially handled a few calls per day. Now the much larger operation handles more than 700 workplace calls daily from multiple omnichannel contact centers. The call center interfaces with employees, completes incident reports, files claims, responds to information request, investigates claims, and more.

A Transition to the Cloud

As Company Nurse grew, its leaders realized that its IT infrastructure needed to grow, as well. The company's data had increased exponentially, so instead of storing it in physical locations, it was clear that file storage had to move to the cloud, which enabled more effective file storage and sharing. Additionally, the employees that Company Nurse served wanted communication channels other than phone calls, so the organization adopted an omnichannel model. Both these changes pointed to one major change: a full move to the cloud.

Today, the company is fully run via the cloud.

The cloud transition also came as compliance, risk, and security requirements escalated. Company Nurse needed better ways to ensure that it adhered to data classification policies, that personal information was kept private, and that data was fully protected.

“We knew that we couldn’t have a reactive mindset,” said Jared Russell, manager of infrastructure services at Company Nurse. “We saw that the landscape had changed … and we knew we needed to build tools and policies that protect what needs to be protected but flows with how users want to use data.”

That was when, around 2018, Company Nurse conceived Lintelio, a digital health and safety product. The idea behind Lintelio, Russell said, was for Company Nurse to become a technology-first company. Its goal was to build a portal that allowed for risk administrators to manage risk experiences by setting medical guidelines and for injured employees to complete an intake process via a phone or browser.

Today, Company Nurse is fully powered by Lintelio, a separate but related entity. Essentially, Lintelio is the technical arm of Company Nurse.

Security, Front and Center

Compliance, security, and governance present unique challenges in cloud environments. After becoming cloud-focused, Company Nurse struggled at first to assign data classifications because it was harder to identify exactly where data resided at any point of time, especially if it was outside of established policies. It also became difficult to identify where data was stored and shared without setting strict policies on email attachments and other forms of sharing. Furthermore, the organization struggled to detect breaches of established policy without doing a lot of manual audit work.

To address these issues, Russell’s team looked for a tool that could automate as many of these processes as possible and provide granular insight into cloud environments. Most importantly, the tool needed to plug into different file stores and quickly uncover what was happening in the environment.

After evaluating several products, the team settled on Concentric AI, an AI-based system that provides data classification, access governance, privacy, and data security posture management. The system gives users detailed data maps that show where everything is stored. For example, if it looks like a file has been shared with two external people, Concentric AI can show who the file was shared with and if doing so violates policy, then revoke the share if necessary.

Dark Reading interviews Concentric AI founder and CEO Karthik Krishnan at RSAC 2022. 

Before rolling out Concentric AI, the team did some initial deep scans to classify data. During that process, the tool detected some outdated shares and that a few employees had incorrectly stored files on file stores. On the positive side, the scans showed that Company Nurse was generally doing a good job. “For the most part, our users were using the shares appropriately, and the shares that we needed to revoke and files we needed to remove were fairly low risk,” Russell noted.

Once in production, Concentric AI helped the team apply structure and classification automatically, audit those data sets against their intended access rights, set alerts or blocks on certain data types being shared, and perform remediation from within the system.

Concentric AI recently added more functionality, including support for sensitive data shared as text or attachments across messaging platforms. Because Company Nurse teams collaborate using Microsoft Teams and Exchange, having full visibility into shared content (whether in the body of a message or an attachment) will make a real difference, Russell added.

To further improve security, Company Nurse has replaced some of its existing tools with more advanced tools that automate and simplify processes. For example, it replaced its existing endpoint protection system with the more automated CrowdStrike Falcon Complete, a managed detection and response offering. It also added Druva to improve backup automation and design for its different cloud resources on AWS and Azure, along with Office 365.

A Healthy Outlook

Company Nurse, powered by Lintelio, continues to push the boundaries. Because of these improvements, it could act fast when COVID-19 hit. For example, the company helped schools return to in-person learning via its suite of tools, which students and staff can use to screen and report test results and vaccination status. Its tools also helped businesses direct its symptomatic employees to the appropriate resources.

As a result of these new processes and tools, third-party administrators and large insurance companies are more confident in Company Nurse’s security, governance, and compliance posture. The improvements have even helped Company Nurse win new business.

“Private data and health information are hot-button issues,” Russell said. “Industries really care about these things, and if we can provide these resources to them in a new, secure way, we can remain on the cutting edge and continue winning new customers.”

About the author

 Karen D. Schwartz headshotKaren D. Schwartz is a technology and business writer with more than 20 years of experience. She has written on a broad range of technology topics for publications including CIO, InformationWeek, GCN, FCW, FedTech, BizTech, eWeek and Government Executive.
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