Healthcare Provider Moves from Aruba ClearPass to Portnox CLEAR

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AbsoluteCare is a fast-growing regional integrated healthcare provider headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, with facilities up and down the East Coast, including Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. Since 2000, AbsoluteCare has provided medical assessment and treatment to tens of thousands of people through its “wrap-around” care model.

“Several years ago, as the company continued to grow, many of our customers, including companies like Anthem and BlueCross BlueShield said we needed to be HITRUST certified in order to work with them,” said Chris Becker, AbsoluteCare’s National IT Director. As part of that journey towards HITRUST certification, Becker and his team discovered that they would need to implement a network access control (NAC) solution.

“At that time, we looked at HP Aruba ClearPass and Cisco ISE, and decided to go with Aruba,” Becker continued. “We spent quite a bit of money to get it implemented – relying on outside consultants to get it up and running and conduct training – it’s a rather large application. We ultimately used it minimally because much of the functionally was overly complex.”

In general, the company utilizes managed corporate devices across its workforce, specifically Dell laptops running Windows X, as well as a number of iPads and iPhones. “We have a small population of BYOD, but we don’t encourage it – it’s just more work to manage the compliance of those devices with the limited internal IT resources we have,” Becker stated.

Migration Challenges

In the summer of 2020, AbsoluteCare found itself in a bind during a datacenter migration. “We decided to move our Aruba servers from one datacenter to another, and we found out – oh my gosh – this is going to cost us like $30,000 just to move it,” continued Becker. The hidden costs didn’t end with just the migration, however. Becker and his team realized they would have to incur more fees to upgrade ClearPass because the version was nearly three years old.

“We saw dollar signs. Lots of dollar signs. Not only that, but ClearPass really didn’t grow with us – you almost have to be an HP Aruba expert to really make the solution work for you the way you need it to,” Becker recalled.

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Headed in a Different Direction

To avoid paying staggering professional services fees for the expertise needed to execute the ClearPass server transfer, Becker and his team opted to go out in search for a new NAC solution that would eliminate these hidden costs and provide a lightweight, flexible option for network access control.

“We definitely wanted cloud. We’re fans of cloud – both private and public,” Becker indicated. “Portnox CLEAR definitely fit the core requirement to act as our NAC solution, but it also offered other benefits through its optional agent that made it the clear winner for us.”

Out With the Old, In With the New

AbsoluteCare was able to swiftly roll out Portnox CLEAR with its AgentP add-on, allowing Becker and his team to leverage the platform’s on-or-off network endpoint risk posture assessment and automatic device remediation capabilities for users on its wired and wireless networks.

“This is one of the things I really liked about Portnox,” said Becker. “When we initially got access to the environment to conduct our proof of concept, we set up our account and then set a meeting for a week out to assess where we were and what we still needed to do. Well, my systems admin basically got everything configured in a few days all on his own.”

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For AbsoluteCare, Portnox CLEAR’s ease of use was a major selling point. “I mean, coming off of something like ClearPass, where you basically need to be a systems engineer to figure it out – Portnox CLEAR was just a piece of cake,” Becker reveled…

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