Equian Focusing on Cybersecurity and Robotic Process Automation - ComSpark Podcast
Richard Fitzgerald - Louisville Tech Power Player Honoree
Director, Sales Strategy and Development
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The CIO of Equian, Richard Fitzgerald, discusses cybersecurity and robotic process automation.
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MP: We're here today with Rick Fitzgerald, who is the Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Equian, which is an organization based in Indianapolis with about 1,800 employees. My name is Mike Pratt, and I'm with RoundTower. I'll be your guest moderator today. Let's get started. So, Rick, I wanted to talk a little bit about security – it's in the news a lot today – and just get your thoughts in general about what that means at Equian and any thoughts you have.
RF: I think we should all take security very seriously. Uh, security is something that we need to be focused on to ensure that, uh, our data, not only personal, but private data for the company is protected at all times.
MP: Second question – how might this affect the way the business needs to respond?
RF: Businesses need to, uh, to ensure that their security is funded and, and make sure that the IT organizations are protecting the information, not only of the company, but of their customers. Uh, it's something that we have to do 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
MP: And third question – do we need to be concerned about our personal devices?
RF: Absolutely. I, uh, I tell my parents all the time, that, you know, if they don't understand who the email's from or, or what the, uh, email is about, that they should just go ahead and delete it. The curiosity gets the better of my mom every single day.
MP: Should all companies harden their devices?
RF: Every company should take security seriously and make sure that their devices are protected.
MP: And what would you recommend to a company that has no security or governance plan? Where would you start?
RF: I would encourage them to put a plan together. There's a lot of resources, both internal and external, to companies that can teach them about where they need to focus from in security. They need to look at the data they have in their organization, but also take their customers’ data very seriously. Um, putting that plan together, understanding what the risks and most likely things to occur would be where I would start putting that plan together though. Given that Equian is in the healthcare industry, we have a considerable amount of private health information, uh, also referred to as PHI. We must maintain this information, just given the fact that, um, it's claims data, it's, it's health information that our customers have entrusted us to do.
Uh, recently we've gone through our high trust certification for our applications and platforms, uh, and we are very focused on making sure that that data is protected for our customers. This is a significant investment for Equian. It's something that takes a lot of time, it takes a lot of commitment and a lot of funding from the executive team. And this is an area where we've truly been focused to make sure that we're, uh, we've got it covered.
MP: Rick, in your opinion, what is one of the most exciting disruptive technologies that's beginning to impact our work or our lives?
RF: So, I see, uh, robotics, machine learning and AI or artificial intelligence just exploding in the industry these days. Everybody's talking about it. And where, in the past, a lot of technologies have had a lot of hype, I truly feel that the capabilities that machine learning and artificial intelligence bring to the table are going to be amazing. Uh, Equian is getting involved in looking at how we can leverage these, this automation to, to determine opportunities for us to do our jobs faster and achieve results for our customers in a faster manner. And we've had great success so far and we're only scratching the surface of where we could go.
MP: You mentioned robotics. Uh, are you involved at all with robotic process automation?
RF: Absolutely. So, we're using a couple of different off-the-shelf platforms today to, uh, to go through and mine and scan data for our customers. We've seen phenomenal results and, and huge productivity gains from our teams, where, in the past, we'd have to have dozens of people to do this work. Today, we fire up a couple of robots and the work is done in a matter of minutes.
MP: Thank you for your time. This is Mike Pratt and Rick Fitzgerald. To learn more about us, visit comspark.tech. Goodbye, until next time.
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