From smart appliances that work with mobile applications to help patients to take their drugs on time, IoT (Internet of Things) is becoming ever-present in healthcare. However, the expansion of IoT comes with new security challenges, risks, and vulnerabilities for patients and healthcare staff.
The Security Risks of IoT
Devices that have the data of patients are very appealing targets for cybercriminals. For instance, healthcare applications have a lot of vital information, including medical histories, drug prescriptions, and social security numbers of patients. If hackers get to this information, they can use it to make fake IDs to purchase medical equipment or drugs and resell them. This calls for all medical IT support team to be cybersecurity conscious. In some scenarios, a cybercriminal can have direct access to the equipment of IoT, causing very deadly results.
In the year 2011, patients were warned by Johnson & Johnson about insulin pumps that are unsecured that enables attackers to make insulin injections without authorization. Even more horrifying, of recent, the FDA found out that about five hundred thousand pacemakers were more prone to hacks and can be remotely shut down or controlled.
Medical IT support devices can be vulnerable devices is also free passages to secured networks. Cybercriminals can use IoT devices that are compromised to send ransomware and various kinds of malware into a network; this will lead to service disruption and stop medical practitioners from offering patients responsive treatments. However, there are a few things you can do to improve your cybersecurity and prevent healthcare facility from potential attacks
Use Multi-Factor Authentication
With multi-factor authentication system, users will be forced to provide more information other than just password and username (examples of the additional information it requires are SMS code, retinal scan, and fingerprint). By activating this feature on your devices and networks, cybercriminals will find it more challenging to get access to critical information in a healthcare facility.
Encrypt All Your Data
Another way to protect your patients, and your healthcare facility and data from a severe data breach is by encrypting all your data. Having all your electronic health data encoded while they are kept in storage or being transmitted prevents attackers from stealing or reading very important information. If possible, make sure you automatically encrypt everything that is transmitted over your network, this will secure the communication among IoT devices.
The manufacturers of IoT devices usually release security updates for their devices. You should cultivate a habit of updating your devices as soon as updates are released to improve the security of your device and prevent it from the latest malware.
Install Systems That Prevent Intrusion
Since a lot of IoT attacks come through the internet, having a system of preventing intrusion is very important to block and identify attempts on your network. This means any hacker that wants to hack your IoT equipment remotely will be stopped even before they can cause any damage.