Cyber Threats Associated with IoT in Healthcare

Cyber Threats Associated with IoT in Healthcare

By Healthcare Tech Outlook | Monday, June 03, 2019

FREMONT, CA: Internet of things (IoT) technology has significantly impacted the healthcare industry, as it allows remote monitoring of the patients. IoT has also enabled in patient engagement, enhancing their overall experience. It has reduced the patient’s readmissions and the frequency of healthcare visits. IoT handles redundant tasks such as blood pressure measurement, heart rates, and others that require the assistance of staff, thereby automating the workflow. Relevant information can quickly be passed onto the patients to help them better understand the conditions and thus empowering them. Further, a multitude of human-related errors can be avoided with the help of these automated devices.

Healthcare centers are incorporating the latest technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to counter the limiting factors like accessibility and facility. IoT technology allows doctors to reach even the remote regions and interact with their patients through smart login devices. They can also remotely access the patient’s medical reports and case history. However, with such an empowering technology in the application, it’s essential to ensure the safety and transparency of data.

With the benefits that IoT or any other technology brings along, there are always some risks too. Focusing specifically on the health industry, threats to privacy and security can be costly for the digital infrastructure as well as the patient’s well-being. More than 77 percent of the healthcare industry has faced malware attacks since August 2015.  One of the most notorious cyberattacks was the WannaCry ransomware attack that affected around 300,000 systems across several countries. It spread rapidly, affecting various computer networks encrypting files and eventually locking the systems. Cybercriminals demanded ransom in bitcoins to decrypt the files.

Despite such an experience, experts believe that institutions and businesses are still unprepared for further attacks. They cite the significant reasons to be conventional operating systems that are yet to patch up against the threats and the flat networks that provides a shared network for the doctors, guests, and patients to connect to the connected devices. Thus, it’s essential for the hospitals to collaborate with the enterprises involved in the latest technologies to ensure the safety of critical data and the systems.

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