Organisations are lining up to provide free support for healthcare organisations during the Covid-19 pandemic, with the likes of Bitdefender, Juniper Networks and Salesforce all offering either free software or free support.
Here’s a list of some of the companies we’ve been able to confirm as offering free support:
Bitdefender became the latest company to provide free support to the healthcare sector, with the firm releasing its enterprise-grade security software at zero-cost to all in the industry. That includes everything from small dental and ophthalmic practices to large hospitals. Large organisations will additionally get access to Bitdefender’s professional services and advanced technologies like network traffic security and analytics.
The free support from Bitdefender couldn’t come at a better time, as the firm reports that the number of malicious reports related to COVID-19 has increased by more than 475% so far in March. By the end of the month, attacks are expected to increase by more than five times the total of incidents in February. The largest number of malicious reports have been registered in the United States, Turkey, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain, Canada, Romania and Thailand, as these malware campaigns have focused on the countries with a high number of positive coronavirus cases.
"Hackers have acted opportunistically and unethically, taking advantage of this time of uncertainty to deliver malware, conduct phishing, and perform online fraud against the organisations affected most," said Florin Talpes, CEO, Bitdefender.
"We are thankful for the work of healthcare professionals worldwide and aim to support them by providing protection for their organisations' sensitive information in a way that assures operational continuity and lets them focus on treating patients and slowing the spread of this virus."
Access to Bitdefender's enterprise security solutions will be offered through the end of June to start, with the opportunity to evaluate organisations' needs and extend access for up to a total of 12 months at that time.
Juniper and its Mist subsidiary is providing a secure wireless kit for qualifying healthcare organisations at no cost or obligation. These kits include a Mist access point, Juniper SRX 320 Services Gateway with firewall/UTM (and optional LTE), Mist Wireless Assurance and Virtual Network Assistant (VNA) subscriptions for one year, and a configuration quick start guide to simplify setup of healthcare provider and/or patient access.
Juniper says that network coverage is crucial to providing fast, efficient testing and enabling patient communications with providers and families. Medical teams are setting up outdoor mobile or drive-through testing stations to contain the spread of the virus, and they need reliable Wi-Fi to keep the public safe.
The offer is applicable only for locations setup for the temporary testing for COVID‑19 in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, with all requests subject to approval. Juniper has also noted that quantities of the kits are limited.
Salesforce and its subsidiary, Quip Starter, are offering health organisations free access to some of its software. Firstly, healthcare organisations that are affected by the coronavirus can gain free access to Salesforce Health Cloud technology, with the company providing a Covid-19 Response Package solution to enable quick deployment. Access to Salesforce Health Cloud is available for six months.
Additionally, the company’s subsidiary, Quip Starter, is offering all Salesforce customers and non-profit organisations free access to its remote work platform. That should help more companies transition their staff to working from home, and will be valid through September 30, 2020.
Qumulo is offering its cloud-native file software, for free, to public and private sector medical and healthcare research organisations that are working to minimise the spread and impact of the COVID-19 virus.
Effective immediately, Qumulo is making its software in the public cloud available free of charge through July 2020 to organisations combating the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Research and healthcare organizations across the world are working tirelessly to find answers and collaborate faster in their COVID-19 vaccine mission,” said Matt McIlwain, chairman of the board of trustees of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and managing partner at Madrona Venture Group.
“It will be through the work of these professionals globally, sharing and analyzing all available data in the cloud, that a cure for COVID-19 will be discovered.”
At a time when every minute matters for the public health of the global community, research organisations need the ability to launch workloads with large amounts of compute power to analyse large data sets using their trusted applications for research. With Qumulo’s cloud-native file and data services, organisations can do that in the cloud to capture, process, analyze and share data with researchers distributed across geographies. Qumulo’s software works seamlessly with the applications medical and healthcare researchers have been using for decades, as well as artificial intelligence and analytics services more recently developed in the cloud.
“Using Qumulo’s software to manage and understand petabytes of data real-time, medical and research organisations around the world can work together and leverage the power of the cloud and hybrid environments to fight COVID-19,” said Bill Richter, president and CEO of Qumulo.
“This virus requires every organisation that can make a difference to do so right now, and band together to solve this problem with all available technology resources and the smartest minds on the planet collaborating seamlessly.”
In partnership with incident response company Coveware, Emisoft will be offering completely free help to critical care hospitals and other healthcare providers that are on the front lines of COVID-19 and have been impacted by ransomware. Subject to the company’s own capacity, it aims to provide this service for the duration of the crisis to healthcare providers anywhere in the world.
The services offered will include:
Technical analysis of the ransomware.
Development of a decryption tool whenever possible.
As a last resort ransom negotiation, transaction handling and recovery assistance, including replacement of the decryption tool supplied by the criminals with a custom tool that will recover data faster and with less chance of data loss.
Microsoft is providing help to healthcare workers in numerous ways:
Firstly, all NHS staff will be able to use Microsoft Teams for free so they can quickly communicate with colleagues during the Coranavirus outbreak.
Key workers will be able to use instant messaging and audio and video calls to share advice and updates on their patients, wherever they are.
Ian Phoenix, Director of Technology at NHS Digital, said: “Technology is key to supporting patients who are self-isolating and makes sure they have the information they need and access to medical support and advice. For doctors and NHS staff this means that working remotely becomes much easier and more practical.”
NHS Digital is rolling Teams out to all NHSmail users between March 16 and March 20.
Additionally, Microsoft is offering its Healthcare Bot service powered by Microsoft Azure to organisations on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response to help screen patients for potential infection and care.
For example, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just released a COVID-19 assessment bot that can quickly assess the symptoms and risk factors for people worried about infection, provide information and suggest a next course of action such as contacting a medical provider or, for those who do not need in-person medical care, managing the illness safely at home.
The bot, which utilises Microsoft’s Healthcare Bot service, will initially be available on the CDC website.