Davidson Healthcare employs Shavlik's Patch Management Solution to protect sensitive network data

St. Paul 20 January 2004Davidson Healthcare, a Lexington, North Carolina-based health care organisation, has implemented an automated patch management solution from Shavlik Technologies LLC, to help it eliminate network vulnerabilities, maximize uptime and protect sensitive patient information.


Comprised of a regional hospital, six physician offices, an urgent care clinic, a pharmacy and a home health agency, Davidson Healthcare's information network includes 500 workstations and 30 servers, as well as a wireless local area network (LAN) for patient care and point-of-care documentation.

Davidson Healthcare knew that patch management played an important role in ensuring network security, but didn't have the time or budget to manually keep up with its patching needs. After searching the Internet for a comprehensive patch management product, the company decided to purchase and implement HFNetChkPro 4, an automated, real-time security patch management solution from Shavlik Technologies.

"We wanted a patch management solution that would work reliably to secure our network, while saving both time and money", stated Kevin Buchanan, MIS director for Davidson Healthcare. "Shavlik's HFNetChkPro has delivered on all accounts. What really surprised us, however, was how quickly we began achieving returns on our investment."

Just over a week after implementing HFNetChkPro, Davidson Healthcare installed the Microsoft remote procedure call (RPC) patch immediately before the Blaster worm that exploited the RPC vulnerability was discovered. One nearby hospital had over 2000 machines infected by Blaster, and its network was down for three days. Several other neighbouring health care facilities were also seriously hit. But Blaster did not affect Davidson Healthcare.

With the click of a button, Davidson Healthcare can now scan all its servers for patch status, and HFNetChkPro will immediately send reports on server status and which ones need patch updates. The HFNetChkPro PatchPush capabilities also make automatic patch deployment on servers fast and easy. Through a drag-and-drop interface, patches can be deployed to individual servers, or to groups.

HFNetChkPro also includes a testing environment, so administrators can test patches in a virtual environment before deploying them to servers. This helps limit damage from patch interference with existing applications.

Just two weeks after implementing HFNetChkPro, 4146 patches had been applied to the Davidson Healthcare network. Since implementing the automated patch management solution, Davidson Healthcare has been able to achieve a 99,98 percent overall network uptime on applications, servers and supporting network infrastructures.

Shavlik Technologies is a security products and services firm headquartered in Minnesota. The company helps information technology managers and administrators manage computer systems security, including assessment, security scanning and remediation of security vulnerabilities due to missing patches, weak accounts and passwords.

Shavlik products, including HFNetChkPro, the industry standard for security patch management solutions, and EnterpriseInspector, a network inspection tool, are used by thousands of companies worldwide. The popular Microsoft MBSA was developed for Microsoft by Shavlik. Shavlik's security services group provides patch management strategy and implementation services.

Leslie Versweyveld

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