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Q&A with Sanjay Joshi: Transforming Healthcare

New CIO for healthcare shares why he joined Tanium — and what he hopes to accomplish

Sanjay Joshi, chief information officer for healthcare and life sciences, Tanium

Sanjay Joshi, chief information officer for healthcare and life sciences, Tanium

Sanjay Joshi has joined Tanium as our global chief information officer (CIO) for healthcare and life sciences, making him our first but far from last vertical-industry CIO.

In his new role, Sanjay will act as the company’s healthcare strategist, leveraging his deep understanding of the industry, speaking in public to articulate Tanium’s business value for healthcare, and acting as the company’s public face in healthcare.

He joins Tanium after two and a half years with Dell Technologies, where he was industry CTO for healthcare. Before that, he was at Dell EMC for six years. He also spent time at, where he was chief of technology for healthcare and life sciences.

Fond of drawing parallels between seemingly disparate fields, Sanjay says the COVID-19 pandemic has helped him see the strong connection between IT security and the human immune system. He goes as far as calling immunology “the security of biology.”

Here’s more of our interview with Sanjay.

What attracted you to Tanium?

Sanjay Joshi: Lately, I’ve gotten interested in data, and I started thinking about the IT industry’s seven-layer model for networking. That’s how I came to Tanium. I think Tanium’s communication platform is fantastic. But to realize why that’s so important, you have to dig really deep into it.

Right now, we’re stuck in the application layer. It’s an information-loss problem. I always draw parallels to biology. I see the physical layer of a network as being like the nucleoplasm or cytosol inside a cell.

The application layer is like DNA or maybe RNA. And security is like immunology. Each of us has more bacteria and viruses in our bodies than we have in our own cells, making us a kind of shell for other creatures. There are good bacteria or viruses, and there are bad ones. Our immune system recognizes friend from foe literally hundreds of thousands of times a day.

So, if you look at the parallel with data networking, you try to understand the real question: How do you move information at massive scale in parallel? The real focus is the marriage of the wonderful transport protocol with a control plane of the system-management focus. That’s the beauty of Tanium. It’s understanding data at scale.

Looking ahead to the next year or so, how do you hope to leverage that capability?

Sanjay Joshi: My first hope is to convince folks that ultimately, it’s about how good your data is.

The healthcare space is all about relationships. We are contextual beings that look at three-dimensional space. Our relationships are based on trust. And these days, we’re balancing trust and risk.

Second, I want to be involved in what I call a mashup between public health and primary care. Especially after 2020, we’ve seen that you cannot separate the two. Public health and primary care are intertwined.

I also think we’ll see a simplification of digital healthcare. Because here in the United States, we have not just two economic models for healthcare, as most countries do, but five.

How about data security? What are some of healthcare’s biggest challenges in that area?

Sanjay Joshi: Very simple: When it comes to resilience, healthcare and pharma are at the bottom of the pile right now.

For example, after a U.S. healthcare organization has been hacked, it takes an average of 220 days to spring back up. Remember, it’s not if you’re going to be breached, it’s when.

In fact, more than 95% of American healthcare institutions have been breached once, about 30-50% have been breached twice, and 20-40% have been breached three times or more.

Tanium can also help with things like running virtual, decentralized clinical trials. Right now, there are something like 350,000 clinical trials running worldwide. And they’re very expensive. For example, if you want to solve a problem with the current virus, you need to run a clinical trial with a billion people.

So again, the issue is scale. How do you run these clinical trials, how do you keep them secure, and how do you ensure that they comply with industry regulations?

Compliance gets people’s attention because in the U.S., every time you have a breach of more than 500 patients, you have to report that to the federal government. And the average fine for a breach is anywhere from $400,000 to $1 million. When fines cost that much money, people get interested.

Another issue is creating what is called blue-green networks. Essentially, you build a clean network on the side. So that if and when you get breached, you can move all your machines to the second network. To do this, you must know what all the machines are and where they’re located.

How big an opportunity do you think healthcare represents for Tanium?

Sanjay Joshi: Last year, the total venture investment in digital health was close to $24 billion.

To give a comparison, the total investment in the U.S. for security last year was around $8 billion. So right now, digital health is attracting at least three times more investment than security.

That’s why I believe that the way we do healthcare is going to completely change in the next three to seven years. Everything’s going to be digitized. And the security footprint is going to get much, much larger. We have to keep our eye on that ball.

Download our Tanium for Healthcare solution brief to learn how Tanium provides visibility and control of endpoint devices to help healthcare and life sciences organizations.

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