Medical device security remains a concern for healthcare organizations, particularly as the threat of cyberattacks grows in the industry.
The medical internet of things (IoT) has improved healthcare by making it more convenient, efficient, and patient-centered, but it is also a weak link in data security. Many IoT-enabled connected devices, such as glucose monitors, insulin pumps, and defibrillators, have insufficient security defenses, posing risks to healthcare facilities and patients.
Healthcare organizations are a popular target for hackers for a variety of reasons. Here are the five most important.
- Smaller health systems are less difficult to attack. Large healthcare organizations hold the most patient data, making them prime targets for malicious threats. Smaller businesses, on the other hand, have fewer resources to devote to cybersecurity, making them much easier targets. If your practice is small and has few resources, you should concentrate your cybersecurity efforts on governance, risk management, and compliance programs. Because cloud software providers frequently handle system upgrades and security maintenance, you can protect your patients’ data in cloud environments, greatly reducing the complexity of IT and security your business is responsible for. Endpoint management, as well as identity and access management, are used to monitor and protect medical devices while also ensuring secure remote access.
- Medical devices are simple to compromise. The large number of connected medical devices of varying specifications and manufacturers makes security upkeep particularly difficult for healthcare IT professionals. While medical devices do not always store large amounts of patient data, they can be used by attackers to gain access to data-rich servers. To reduce the costs and damage caused by unauthorized access, the healthcare industry must keep these entry points updated and secure.
- Remotely, patient data is shared with a variety of healthcare providers. Telemedicine and collaboration among medical providers have greatly increased the patient’s chances of receiving the best care possible. However, protecting patient data in a remote environment is becoming increasingly difficult. To identify and grant access to authorized individuals across devices and locations, many organizations are implementing multifactor and risk-based authentication methods. Based on unusual activity, IT administrators can increase the rigor of the authentication process.
- Healthcare workers are inadequately educated about data security risks. Medical device cyberattacks can be dangerous, even fatal. In September 2020, a ransomware attack disrupted the intake of new patients and forced reroutes for emergency patients at a hospital in Germany. While the hospital struggled to restore services, one patient died. Everyone who works in your healthcare organization is a member of your security team because they have access to connected devices and networks that store sensitive patient data. As a result, it’s critical that you and your team adopt a zero-trust security model to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data.