IoT

Deep Diving into IoT Security for Healthcare

Publish Date: October 20, 2022

According to McKinsey Global Institute, IoT devices will give a potential economic boost of $4-11 trillion by 2025. 70% of popular wearables are related to the health and wellness sector, and 40% of IoT-driven devices will likely be from the same industry by 2026, according to reports. IoT has secured a prominent place in the healthcare industry, from enabling continuous monitoring to helping in better data usage. While applications continue to evolve, IoT adoption presents various concerns.

One of the most critical ones is security. As IoT runs on the internet, it broadens the attack’s surface area. Unprotected medical devices are at more significant risk of being attacked and compromised. During the COVID-19 outbreak, bad actors made medical devices their most frequent targets with focused and sophisticated attacks. The repercussions of such attacks could be more severe than you think!

Why is IoT Security Critical in Healthcare?

It is pretty obvious. Healthcare deals with people’s lives. Ransomware or some other type of cyberattack on a vulnerable IoT system can disrupt the hospital’s operations. It can impede communication, compromise patient care, delay treatment and affect patient data. As for the cost involved, per reports, the average cost per breached healthcare record is around $ 425-435. Hence, ransomware costing millions of dollars to hospitals isn’t a surprise.

Many reports and researches attempt to define the risks hospitals and patients confront with cyberattacks related to a higher mortality rate. In one incident, a woman alleged that a ransomware attack on a hospital compromised her planned C-Section surgery, resulting in the death of her infant a few months later! Now that’s unimaginable.

It isn’t that healthcare players don’t understand the significance of IoT security in healthcare. They realize that tighter security around IoT is necessary to keep bad actors away and prevent catastrophes and are interested in a comprehensive and systematic approach to address the issue. Let’s look at a few essential inclusions to strengthen IoT security in healthcare.

  • Identify all IoT Devices

Healthcare organizations that have embraced IoT extensively can have many IoT-connected devices within their environment.  In their landscape, it is vital to discover all the IoT devices, whether clinical or non-clinical or managed or unmanaged. It will help all stakeholders, technical and non-technical, to get a comprehensive view of every medical device and the IoT asset landscape in its entirety to know how it looks within the network.

  • Conduct Risk Assessment

Assess the risk of every device and have technology teams continuously monitor and scrutinize them. The monitoring may include tracking traffic patterns, segmenting devices, and reducing the threat surface to prevent cyberattacks.

  • Enforce Cybersecurity Policies

Trust could become a critical concern if not monitored or enforced by a policy. Thus, establish and implement policies that allow only trusted behavior and least privileged access to avoid intrusions.

  • Prevent Known and Unknown IoT Attacks

With a threat prevention mechanism, using payload-based signatures to block advanced threats, you can have a competent security posture to keep known threats at bay. In addition, you may leverage crowdsourced data analytics to gain insights that enable investigating unseen or unknown threats.

In addition, gathering and using operational device data can help healthcare players identify devices, onboard them securely, use them safely, and discard them whenever it is time to do so.

As a leading healthcare provider, are you looking to enhance your IoT security? Choose YASH. Our thoughtful and compliant domain-specific IoT solutions stem from a systematic approach that thoroughly reviews your IoT landscape and enforces measures to tighten the security around your IoT environment.

Click here to learn more about our IoT solutions.

Sacheen Patil
Sacheen Patil

Vice President & Global Head - IoT & Embedded Practice & CoE

Sacheen has over 26+ years of experience in the Engineering/Industrial services & IT services company and predominantly worked for Manufacturing, Transportation/Automotive, Healthcare/Medical Devices and Energy & Utilities Industry Verticals sectors.

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