Connected Medical Device Security

Medical Device CyberSecurity

Connected medical devices play a crucial role in modern healthcare, providing innovative solutions for monitoring, diagnosis, and treatment. However, their integration into healthcare networks also raises concerns about security and privacy. Ensuring the security of connected medical devices is essential to safeguard patient data, prevent unauthorized access, and protect against potential cyber threats.
As their use surged, the global market value is projected to hit $60 billion by 2027, a staggering $38 billion leap from 2020 (Deployment of Connected Medical Devices). This growth amplifies the urgency for robust cybersecurity measures, ensuring the safety and privacy of patients’ data and the seamless functionality of these critical devices.

Increasingly, more people rely on these devices for their daily health management. But as a part of the Internet of Medical Things, such devices are highly prone to cyberattacks. This past year, specifically, has demonstrated how vulnerable the healthcare sector is and there is a general lack of IoT healthcare security. So, it’s necessary to be aware of the potential threats and know how to combat them.

Medical Device CyberSecurity

Connected Medical Device Security

Stolen Patient Data

The proliferation of diverse connected medical devices, lacking standardized security measures, brings forth varying levels of vulnerability.

Unauthorized entries into medical databases can be detrimental to patients as well as healthcare organizations. Such databases contain troves of sensitive information such as insurance records and financial data. A data breach is a serious violation of patient privacy that can lead to penalties, lawsuits, and other costly consequences for healthcare providers.

Healthcare Organizations also need to comply with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). To ensure protection of patient’s data and privacy.

Hacker Controlled Medical Devices

Cyberattacks pose a grave danger by enabling hackers to infiltrate and manipulate personal medical devices. In addition to stolen records and data, cyberattacks also put patients’ welfare at risk (IoMT Security on Connected Medical Devices). Attackers can hack and manipulate personal medical devices. In doing so, malicious actors have the power to adjust – and even turn on and off – these devices, potentially harming patients. For those who rely on these medical devices for everyday support, this is especially alarming.

Disruption in Patient Care

Ransomware attacks is one of the most common attacks targeting connected medical devices. Hackers use this form of cyberattack to compromise vital files and even entire systems until medical service providers pay a ransom. During the pandemic, there were instances where hackers refused to give hospitals access to crucial, life-saving files and operations until they got paid. Prioritizing connected medical device security ensures that patient welfare remains paramount in the face of evolving cyber threats.

Damage to Reputation and Credibility

These cyberattacks also affect business reputation. Following a data breach, patients and other stakeholders may begin to doubt the security of their data. The medical field is built mainly on trust and credibility. It can be difficult to regain those once lost. Damage to reputation and credibility can cost a healthcare entity clients and money.

Prioritizing robust connected medical device security measures is essential not only for patient data protection but also for upholding the foundation of trust that the medical field relies upon.

How to Counter the Security Risks of Connected Medical Devices

While there is a slew of vulnerabilities associated with connected medical devices cybersecurity, their benefits can’t be understated. This calls for a need for institutions to take countermeasures against the various threats through the following:

Orchestrated Firmware Updates

An advantage of connected devices is their ability to be regularly updated. During these firmware updates, ensure careful orchestration and that only authorized parties can make changes to the device (The 17 requirements for secure connected medical devices).

Should an update failure ensue, there must be a contingency plan in place. Either reboot the device and restart the update or replace the device altogether. Additionally, patients need clear instructions on how to configure their devices on their home network. The proper installation lets you establish an encrypted connection between the medical devices and the IoMT.

Secure Custom Software

Each medical institution utilizes its own software. These should all have security ingrained into each component, which is why many developers looking to work in healthcare today opt to take specialty courses on developing secure software. This, in turn, has led to a huge demand within the healthcare industry, one which is being met by higher education through the increasing number of graduates with software experience.

Moreover, users of the system and network should undergo online cybersecurity training to gain the skills necessary to spot network vulnerabilities.

Sepio’s Hardware Access Control

Enhancing Connected Medical Device Security: The Power of Physical Layer Visibility Fingerprinting.

When there are several devices within a network, some vulnerabilities may fall through the cracks. This is particularly true when there are manual reporting and employee intervention in the mix (Employees Role in CyberSecurity). This makes it that much easier for hackers to infiltrate the system. It opens up opportunities for installing unauthorized devices onto the network (Network Attack).

One way to circumvent this problem is by integrating physical layer visibility fingerprinting on each device on your network.

Sepio is the only company in the world that offers this service. Sepio’s Asset Risk Management, ensures that no device is left undetected. Each device is assigned a digital fingerprint, creating a more robust cybersecurity posture. Sepio effectively and automatically determines if a medical device becomes vulnerable or if unauthorized network devices and connections are linked to the network.

See every known and shadow asset. Prioritize and mitigate risks.
Talk to an expert. It will help you understand how to use Sepio’s patented technology to gain control of your asset risks.

July 21st, 2021