The Thumbay Group was established in 1998 by Dr. Thumbay Moideen, founder president, and is an international business conglomerate with a strong focus in the healthcare field, based in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The Thumbay Group includes 46 pharmacies, eight hospitals, and one university hospital, along with medical research, diagnostics, health communication, wellness, laboratories, and nutrition.
The Thumbay Group’s Network of Academic Hospitals, the constituent teaching hospitals of Gulf Medical University, is one of the largest in the UAE, with patients from more than 175 countries. Gulf Medical University has students from 86 nationalities, as well as faculty and staff from 50 different countries.
Despite progress in recent years, the healthcare industry is a prime target for cybercriminals seeking out protected health data and sensitive user information. The industry has been challenged by ransomware, malware, and phishing attacks, as well as vulnerabilities in the cloud.
Initially, the Thumbay Group only secured its endpoints, but as the organization advanced its digital transformation, security needed to keep up. The Thumbay Group needed a centralized system that expanded beyond the endpoint to prevent new and more complex threats and vulnerability exploits. With all of the entities under the umbrella of the Thumbay Group being interconnected, a compromise at a single point would threaten the entirety of the organization’s network.
“With threats against the UAE’s healthcare industry increasing in volume and complexity, the Thumbay Group needed a centralized cybersecurity system that extended beyond the endpoints,” says Akram Moideen Thumbay, director of Thumbay Technologies.
Due to its close relationship with the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and the UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention, the organization is under the strict provision to conform to the IT regulations adopted by the nation’s healthcare industry. As well, the Thumbay Group must adhere to the Global Health Security Initiative (GHSI) standard, an internationally-recognized set of guidelines governing data security in healthcare.
The combination of a rapid change in policies by the UAE government and the advent of COVID-19 has led many healthcare providers to adopt technologies at a much faster rate than in previous years. Teleconsultation and the sharing of digital medical records externally have done wonders for the industry, however, as with most great change, there are risks—an expanded threat landscape.
"With threats against the UAE’s healthcare industry increasing in volume and complexity, the Thumbay Group needed a centralized cybersecurity system that extended beyond the endpoints."
Akram Moideen Thumbay
Director of Thumbay Technologies
Why Trend Micro
After experiencing several hands-on demos and an all-inclusive proof of concept, the Thumbay Group was confident in Trend Micro’s industry-leading solutions, robust protection, and full-time support. Trend Micro’s level of threat detection proved far superior to the Thumbay Group’s legacy IT antivirus platform and other vendors.
From the outset, Trend Micro worked closely with the Thumbay Group’s IT division to identify the right solutions that would aid the organization in reinforcing its security posture. Trend Micro also conducted a systems health check across the entire network to pinpoint areas of concern.
In addition to delivering a superior package, Trend Micro’s offering fulfilled one of the Thumbay Group’s key requirements: A one-stop-shop solution with a 360-degree security approach. Proving infinitely more manageable than the legacy platform, Trend Micro’s solution have enabled the IT team to manage the entire spectrum of the group’s security from a single interface.
The Thumbay Group adopted several Trend Micro solutions across endpoints, network, and data centers, leading with Trend Micro Apex One™. It’s unique, advanced endpoint protection platform provides the Thumbay Group with exceptional protection against an ever-growing variety of threats without compromising performance and effectiveness.
In addition, the Thumbay Group has deployed Trend Micro™ Deep Security™ to secure its data center (physical and virtual workloads) and Trend Micro™ TippingPoint™ to defend its network and improve the protection of vulnerable applications and systems. Then, with Trend Micro™ Deep Discovery™ Analyzer, the Thumbay Group could enable a Connected Threat Defense strategy by sharing threat intelligence between the Trend Micro and third-party security solutions to provide an automated response and faster detection of complex threats.
Trend Micro’s solutions were able to fulfill a key requirement, which was securing network traffic within each clinic, the network traffic between the clinics and headquarters, and internet traffic. At its university hospital, the Thumbay Group also uses network security to curb attack vectors coming from what students are doing from their unprotected endpoints.
Following the implementation of Trend Micro’s solutions, the Thumbay Group has been able to reduce the number of daily attacks significantly and identify compromised endpoints quickly across the entire network. Because the console can be accessed from anywhere, a lot of the monitoring is now handled by a remote monitoring team, which frees up local staff to perform other IT tasks.
Additionally, the security teams have found themselves spending less time personally checking endpoint incident sources—everything is now handled from a centralized point—and they receive reports for compliance requirements in a timely fashion.
Trend Micro’s flexibility allowed the installation of both software as a service (SaaS) and on-premises solutions where needed, saving critical bandwidth for day-to-day healthcare operations. With the rise in teleconsultations amid COVID-19, Trend Micro solutions are also helping the Thumbay Group to secure connections within the hospital, as well as the connections to patients at home.
Hospitals cannot function if their systems are not running. With Trend Micro, the Thumbay Group greatly improved its security posture, detecting roughly 7,600 malicious communications as part of its initial system analysis across the healthcare group, which that was promptly neutralized within mere minutes. Further, over a threeweek period, TippingPoint stopped around 600k attempted attacks on the Thumbay Group’s environment, including more than 10k attacks that were critical and dangerous.
Over a one-month period, Deep Security was able to detect and protect 2,498 vulnerabilities from being exploited on nine critical servers, using virtual patching.
"Our security transformation with Trend Micro provided us with a 360-degree security approach, with real-time visibility, instant reports for meetings and compliance purposes, and quick distribution of updates and patches."
Akram Moideen Thumbay
Director of Thumbay Technologies
As the next stage of its digital transformation, the Thumbay Group is considering centralizing its data in a data center and leading an organization-wide change of culture in prioritizing security.
The Thumbay Group is also in discussion about using Trend Micro™ XDR for its remote security operations center (SOC), helping to reduce the time for detection, response, and investigation.