How to Use IoT in Healthcare Safely

How to Use IoT in Healthcare Safely

The Internet of Things (IoT), is popular right now in modern medicine and can be be extremely beneficial for healthcare providers. Pros include: decreasing costs, reducing errors and improving disease management. However, anything that connects to the internet can be hacked. Therefore, every business should still proceed with caution. Learn how you can take advantage of the good and protect yourself from the bad.

So, What is the Internet of things (IoT)?

The Internet of things is the network of devices, vehicles, and home appliances that contain electronics, software, actuators, and connectivity which allows these things to connect, interact and exchange data.

Devices that contain a treasure trove of patient data are a well-lit beacon for cyber criminals. Healthcare apps contain plenty of private data; social security numbers, prescriptions, and medical histories. This creates opportunities for identity theft and/or re-selling of info on the dark web.

In certain cases, an attacker could have direct control over IoT equipment. This could result in devastated consequences.

In August 2018, cardiovascular imaging device manufacturer Philips discovered a  terrifying threat! Phillips found that devices could be hacked and data could be sent over the Internet. McAfee researchers at the 2018 Defcon were able to demonstrate that vital signs monitors could be remotely altered to simulate a flatline on a patient’s heartbeat.

Medical devices are also keys to a secured network. Hackers can use compromised IoT devices to sneak ransomware and other types of malware onto a network.

Protect yourself by:

USING multi-factor authentication

Multi-factor authentication forces users to provide more information than just their username and password. For example, SMS code, fingerprint, or a retinal scan.

Encrypting your data

Electronic health records are most vulnerable when transmitted or left in storage. Protect your data by encrypting the data files. Encrypting prevents hackers from reading and stealing sensitive info. If possible, you should automatically encrypt every file that is transmitted across your network. This will secure the communication between IoT devices.

Installing intrusion prevention systems

IoT attacks come mostly through the internet. Intrusion prevention systems can therefore be a powerful weapon in blocking and identifying unauthorized connections on your network. This means hackers who try to remotely access or shut down your IoT equipment will be stopped before they can even try damaging your systems.

Downloading Security updates

Finally, IoT manufacturers occasionally release security patches for their gadgets. Get into the habit of downloading these updates as soon they’re available. Your devices can also be turned on to automatically download and update themselves. This will keep them safe from the latest threats.

When it comes to cyber-security, healthcare providers can feel like they navigating a landmine. Whether you are dealing with hardware security, data privacy, or regulatory compliance, partnering with a managed services provider can be your best friend.

CAVU specializes in healthcare IT and can keep you up to date and protected against today's scariest cyber villains. Call us today to learn more.