A Candid Conversation with Healthcare Security Expert Bill Pelletier

Healthcare security veteran Bill Pelletier has seen the industry from all sides. In this episode he shares his thoughts on what 2021 may look like for security vendors and CISOs alike.

Show Notes

Tune in to this episode of In Scope, the healthcare cyber security podcast with Mike Murray. In this episode, Mike has a candid conversation with healthcare security expert Bill Pelletier. Mike and Bill worked alongside one another as Scope’s first employees, then Bill moved on to work on medical devices, with a payer, and deep into the healthcare system with his wife as she runs a practice. You don’t want to miss out on the immense wisdom Bill has to offer from his great breadth and depth of experiences.

Mike starts off their conversation by asking Bill what the world of 2021 is going to look like. Listen as Bill expounds upon his prediction that it will be regarded as ‘the great supply chain chase’. There is no broad solution for everything, so the singular events and specific purposes various products serve are proven to be battles in the supply chains. While this issue seems to be focused on the software side of the chain, Bill talks about the hardware pieces that are also being affected. Learn about the history of medical devices as they moved from highly customized pieces, so off-the-shelf hardware options that are more accessible and less expensive. With this shift, Bill presents the issue and risk of “leakage” that goes unnoticed.

Mike asks about the idea of “security by obscurity” and they discuss the issue of “what do you do with it” for older systems in digital transition. Bill sheds light on the limitations of software bills and materials with the constrained details, and the risks even for higher coverage rates. It’s all about the maturity conversation for data and the risk compilation perspective that cannot go ignored. Where does pragmatic realism fit into the finite resources available for these various situations?

Shifting the conversation towards security specifically, Bill observes that senior managers who are working on limited timelines and budgets oftentimes cut security. Asserting that security ought not be seen as an “additional component”, Bill discusses the need to set security as a baseline that applies across everything. People are often optimistic to a fault with security, but we cannot assume products are perfect upfront.

The conversation draws to a close as Mike asks Bill about his targets for 2021 and where he ultimately sees healthcare security going over the course of the next 3-4 years. They talk about the remote work and changes with COVID and the digital transformation that has considerably shifted policy. Telehealth has presented a landscape that medical security has never had to consider before. Finally, the intense issues of cost pressures and insurance space for the industry are discussed. With rich data ecosystems moving to the CLOUD and API as the cheaper ways of moving forward, Bill says it is a scary future. Bill leaves the listeners with the question of how can we help teams to diagnose the right structures to insure even better integrity than the multi-tier data bases previously offered. Learn that while it’s crucial that teams are enabled to design the best models, they must also not create an impediment in the overall business process!


1:23 – Welcomes Bill to the podcast

1:53 – What is the world of 2021 going to look like?

4:34 – Supply chain issue in hardware

8:05 – Idea of “security by obscurity”

8:30 – Question of “what do you do with it?”

12:42 – Security as an additional component, or a baseline?

17:12 – Optimistic to a fault with security

17:42 – Top targets for 2021?

21:45 – Where is healthcare security going over the next 3-4 yrs?

25:59 – Rich data ecosystem passing across API


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