Dr. Saif Abed: Healthcare Industry Security with Clinical Cyber Defense Systems

December 26, 2019

Is your information protected?

Dr. Saif Abed is the CEO of Clinical Cyber Defense Systems.

Clinical Cyber Defense Systems (CCDS) is America’s leading cybersecurity defense system and security analytic provider.

This system was founded by a team of the world's leading physicians specializing in healthcare cybersecurity.

Their Active Threat Intelligence (ATI) solution keeps all technical security safe and protected at all times.

Learn more about how Clinical Cyber Defense Systems keeps American Healthcare protected can by listening to this episode of The Thoughtful Entrepreneur above and don’t forget to subscribe on  Apple Podcasts – Stitcher – Spotify –Google Play –Castbox – TuneIn – RSS.

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Welcome to The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. I'm Josh Elledge, founder and CEO of up my influence.com. We turn entrepreneurs into media celebrities, grow their authority, and help them build partnerships with top influencers. We believe that every person has a unique message that can positively impact the world. stick around to the end of the show, where I'll reveal how you can be our next guest on one of the fastest-growing daily inspiration podcasts on the planet in 15 to 20 minutes. Let's go. All right, and Dr. Saif Abed. Thank you so much for joining us.

Thanks for having me.

You are the founding partner director of cybersecurity advisory services for Arbit Graham, and the CEO of Clinical Cyber Defense Systems.

Like that,

it sounds like you're gonna, it sounds like you're going to come on and talk about some kind of Terminator, you know, kind of not quite Cyberdyne, but somewhere in that in that realm.

Well, I promise I'm not making Skynet. That's- that's not in our roadmap.

So what exactly do you do? Yeah, so

definitely the name sounds more imposing than what we do. Essentially, for Clinical Cyber Defense Systems, we have an analytics platform that translates very technical security data into clinical and business risk data so that hospital executives that don't have a technical background, really understand the risks that their hospital faces, and can take action on that in terms of our bed grand piece of the equation. That's the consulting firm that I set up 10 years ago when I first left medicine, to ply my trade, sell my soul and work in technology. But over that time, we've been advisors to large technology companies, your Microsoft and IBM of the world as well as government agencies, about health care and security.

So How did you go from Madison to this side of things?

It's a really interesting question. I- I often say by accident, actually, I think when I was in medical school, I was always a big fan of technology. I was really interested in business. And I was trying to figure out how do I merge those worlds with being a doctor. And there wasn't necessarily a clear pathway, I would say. But what happened was there was a really large national program, about 11 billion pound sterling worth and its transformation program for the health system. It didn't quite work out, to put it mildly. And I thought the reason for this is no one was talking to the doctors and nurses finding out what technology would they use? Why do they want to use it? And I had this fantastic, crazy idea that maybe I'll set up a company that tells tech companies what doctors and nurses are actually interested in and take it from there. And then it evolves over time. And, you know, we became a security company mainly about three years ago. I wrote about one o'clock, sorry, I wrote about ransomware quite a little No one really paid that much attention, want to cry happened? And the rest was history after that for us?

Yeah, yeah, it is absolutely our new reality. So one might think that this is all just part of a platform that you know a hospital is going to have on their network, like all of this is just built into it and they don't need to worry about these things.

Oh, see, this is the thing. The world of healthcare is fascinating. We do some of the most fantastic technological innovations, whether it's surgery or genomics and things like that, you think we're the most up to date industry there could be, even lift the cover and you look at all the actual it. And we have all these old systems, all this old technology, we haven't invested in the security technologies that we need. And so we're playing catch up now. And the people at the- at the top level, the hospital executives, they're culpable. They know they're responsible now for what happens if there's a security incident so there's kind of a mad scramble to figure out, what is everyone's responsibility, how do they understand this brave new world of security and, and that's, that's the part of the equation we're trying to solve for them. Its hard security is full of jargon. It's technology. very technical. You know, we all know what it's like you see, you see a bunch of jargon and you switch off. It's like the- the iTunes terms and conditions. You look at it and you switch off. That's the bit we're trying to try to solve here with our platform.

So what is the I mean, what's the risk level right now? How often is- is this because how often is this a problem in- in our hospital systems,

I guarantee you today, you can pick any hospital and they have some kind of critical vulnerability in there that could take the system down. I don't want to fear monger here. I don't want to fear matter. That's not the point. But not every hospital knows what's all the technology that connects to their network. The random mobile phone does random laptop, the guy who brings in something connected to the Network unknown knows about it, there is always something. So all you can do really is try to find out what's going on in an understandable way and minimize that risk as best you can. You just need to show you're doing something about it.

Yeah. So having- having started this company and serving the CEO, how do you? How do you let hospitals know about this, then I guess, you know, it sounds like this? It sounds like a very badly needed service. So are you getting objections right now? What's the big challenge there?

So I'm actually pretty fortunate. The work I've been doing as a consultant for the last 10 years, has given me a platform, essentially, as a public speaker, as a writer of content. I've been very fortunate to work with as an expert for the World Health Organization. Now the European agencies like that. So it gives you a position of credibility that you can come essentially, and say, Look, I think this is a problem. I think I think this could be part of the solution. And if people can see a track record of you being a person that's credible, they're willing to open the door for you at least and have a chat. So I'm finding very few objections. Fortunately, you

are. Because you are in the right room right now. I mean, this is, this is everything that we talked about in terms of like, how valuable authority marketing is. And, you know, and again, making sure not just that you have done that work, but that you communicate that you do that work, you know, taking a look at some of your social media. You know, it's- it's great that you're that you not only do you have the credentials, but it's really easy to figure out that you have those credentials as well. And I think you'll find that a lot of doors just naturally open and your authority speaks for itself.

Oh, that's very kind of you say one of the things I have a lot of medical students or young doctors who asked me You know, they want to be entrepreneurs and get into their own business and they asked me safe. What should I do? Do I need a marketing budget? Do I need to hire a PR? I say first step is just articulate your message to yourself. As you can articulate your to yourself to your friends, to your mother, to your father, to your brother to your sister, and they go, you know what I get what you're where you're coming from. That's the first step. If you can do that, then start writing it, write blogs on LinkedIn, start tweeting, see how people respond. And then lo and behold, one-day people will say, Can you write a piece of content for my new site? Will you come and speak at my conference? And that's when you know you're onto something? And that's your public relations right there.

Yeah, and we never know which of these things is going to pop which of these things is really going to matter? It's but you know, we work hard to cover all of our bases and keep serving keep going out onto those stages. Keep on you know, and I love that you talked about at first, you know, getting very clear on you know what it is your message is, you know, making sure that you're you know, I really like you know Simon Sadiq you know lead with You know, what is your purpose? What are your values? What is your mission? And then once you know those things, what should be very, very clear on what activity we should be engaged in. And so, then having built that platform of recognition, it's the success rate, obviously, you know, when when you do, someone does reach out on your behalf, or you reach out directly, people are going to pick up the phone, and I'm talking with the doctor safe are bad. That's- that's kind of what we want.

Yes, and I'll just say that inject some passion into your message, one of the problems in the tech world is we get very, very caught up in the details of technical language with no emotion. It's all very mathematical and precise, people find that hard to connect with. Whereas if I say to you, there's this security bug. And if we attack it, it's going to affect someone's pacemaker or it's going to affect your ability to have an operation. People feel that it's visceral. That's a powerful message. Again, you don't want to fear monger, you just want to tell the truth in a way that people can relate to. And I found that to be powerful and use them the right way.

You know, I mean, it is, it's a really risky, you know, you know, we've seen a lot of municipal governments fall victim to ransomware you know, boy, that What a nightmare scenario, if a hospitals network is compromised, and now all of a sudden, you know, let alone record, you know, patients records are now being exposed, you know, all of the other consequences that can come from that. So if you have someone that's serving in a, in a non-technical capacity, it sounds like that. That's one of the strong suits for- for clinical cyber defense systems. Yeah, yes. But every- every time I see that I do think a little bit of Cyberdyne. So I think that sounds like one of the strong suits right? Is- is Being able to display and explain very technical things in a non-technical way through better reporting and a better user interface.

Definitely, the whole point of analytics isn't just so that I can ensure that my platform explains risk to a non-technical person in a way that they can understand. It should be so smooth that they can take that and explain it to the next person. I want to empower the CFO to talk about security, I want to empower the chief medical officer to talk about security. At the end of the day, they're the key decision-makers in a hospital, the CEO, the CEO, all the different C suite names that you can think of, if they're not comfortable talking about it, then the hospital becomes secure. And that's the core of what we're trying to get out.

You know, from a CEO perspective, what would you say over the next year to three years is going to be your biggest, you know, kind of your biggest mountain to climb.

So I think they need to shift their thinking in one particular way, the last few years is all been about getting fined for leaking patient data. I think what CEOs need to say to themselves is, look, that's bad, no one wants to pay a fine and have their reputation be affected. But when you look at ransomware, and how that's evolving and the sophistication of other types of malware, affect patient safety, imagine you have two cat scanners in a in a hospital for one of them gets taken down, you're going to delay diagnostics, you're going to delay patient flow, people potentially really severe conditions get managed the wrong way. patient harm happening at scale. You have to imagine that scenario now not just patient information being leaked, which is bad enough, we're talking about actual harm. That's the way the lens you need to view health care and security through and you know what, err on the side of caution always err on the side of caution. Set aside. empower your team to invest in thinking about those emotive types of risks and your stay ahead of the risk in my view for the minus

Great. Well, Dr. Saif Abed, I want to thank you so much for joining us. Definitely in a great position, congratulations on the recent business launch. And listen hospitals everywhere. I think you need to at least take a meeting with this man just to kind of review your own processes and your own systems, just to make sure that we are staying safe. And of course, you can reach out to Dr. Saif Abed at Clinical Cyber Defense dot com. So, Dr. Saif Abed, I want to thank you so much for joining us.

Thank you for having me. It's been great.

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