The Internet of Things (IoT) provides an abundance of benefits in the healthcare landscape ranging from monitoring patients to using data to gain insights on care delivery and thus the usage of these connected devices is increasing. But unfortunately, the evolution of IoT has also led to the rise of potential life-threatening vulnerabilities. This consequent increase in security risks necessitates an immediate focus on IoT security in healthcare. Leaving risks unattended can have severe repercussions for the healthcare industry and all the stakeholders involved.
The security vulnerability is not solely the responsibility of the manufacturers of IoT devices. Healthcare organizations need to reconsider how they are supervising, managing and protecting IoT by connecting it to hospital networks as securely as possible. Reports show that there are unpatched devices, unencrypted data traffic, and an unproductive disconnection between the tasks performed by teams who directly manage medical devices.
By leveraging machine learning, healthcare organizations can largely diminish the security concerns that come with the Internet of Things (IoT). It enables data exchanges to be monitored within the organization, and with external parties to detect anomalies that are not considered the norm. Machine learning can also aid in identifying threats with its ability to analyze historical data from particular trends, which can be evaluated from the big data produced by the algorithms.
Secure by design and keeping it there throughout the whole lifecycle of the device is the number one priority during the design phase. Without security, none of the other safeguards that are designed to prevent harm can be assured. Implementing a hardware root of trust can help secure by design approach. It separates general processing from secure processing enabling a separate processor element dedicated to security tasks. A hardware root of trust—which uniquely identifies a device and can be used as a cryptographic seed—facilitates a manufacturer to manage the access rights to authorized parties.
As the industry is taking a deeper dive into the IoT ecosystem, the organizations should stress on securing their networks. Adding new devices to make care delivery more connected without ensuring security can amplify the potential risks in the future.