Stories: EIC-funded company Runecast offered free analytics tool for hospitals during COVID-19 outbreak
In 2020, while global organizations were grappling with COVID-19, the healthcare industry was particularly stressed by the implications. Cyberattacks and unexpected outages impacted even more hospitals and their IT systems. In response to the pandemic, the EIC-funded company Runecast decided to help these institutions and provide full free licenses of Runecast Analyzer for six months. The tool ensured full security compliance and optimal uptime to 75 hospitals, clinics and universities from 14 different countries.
With the ongoing pandemic and the adoption of new remote working arrangements, different sectors have become a direct target or collateral victims of cybersecurity threats, receiving a series of phishing campaigns and ransomware attacks from malicious actors. In this context, Runecast's innovation provides an answer to speed up IT operation risks and increase security. In 2015, the Dutch company conceived a way to automate discovery and remediation of potential issues within ICT systems in order to mitigate service disruptions.
Runecast Analyzer provides the ability to identify known technical issues and problematic patterns before they can cause service interruptions or pose other risks within a VMware-based environment (a virtualization and cloud computing software). Between March and September, this software was available for free to hospitals, clinics and universities, running VMware or AWS (Amazon Web Services) that needed better tools or solutions for security compliance and downtime mitigation. The innovation ensured full visibility of VMware Horizon problems on top of their limited trial view of data centre issues.
"Our focus behind Runecast has always been to increase the availability, security, and performance of critical systems," said Stan Markov, CEO and Co-Founder of Runecast. "We developed a way to do that by aggregating relevant human-readable knowledge, analyzing it via our own AI, and providing automated and proactive remediation guidelines, best practices, and security compliance directly to IT administrators – in real-time."
With the initiative launched at the beginning of the pandemic, the Runecast Analyzer AI, called RAIKA (for Runecast A.I. Knowledge Automation) helped 75 hospitals, clinics, universities and public schools 14 countries. Multiple institutions used the free license, including the Piedmont Healthcare, Hospital du Valais, NHS Lothian, University of Edinburgh and University of California.
"Compared to previous methods, this enables companies to 'see the future' in terms of mission-critical issues and be able to proactively remediate them before they can turn to catastrophic business failures," noted Aylin Sali, CTO and Co-Founder of Runecast.
In November 2019, Runecast received a Phase 2 Grant from the European Innovation Council. The funding is enabling the R&D Team of Runecast Analyzer to improve RAIKA further and extend the scope of Runecast Analyzer beyond VMware into other platforms that can benefit from automated predictive technologies.