How the Internet of Things Impacts Healthcare

The Internet of Things (IoT) is often considered as just another buzz phrase, but let me reassure you that it has more meaning to it than just a few words pulled from the dictionary. IoT is here to stay and it’s likely to continue growing in popularity as the world of healthcare leverage technologies to increase efficiency.

For a number of years now, many hospitals have utilized the IoT for purposes that range from asset management to the degree of controlling temperature and humidity in operating rooms. It has become more and more common for professionals in patient healthcare to leverage IoT’s through the use of virtual care centers that deliver around-the-clock care through audio, video and data connections in order to remotely monitor patients that are geographically dispersed.1

Growing network of connected devices + the Increased flow of information = Greater risk of attack

While IoT is such a powerful concept and it’s amazing to think that at any given moment, millions of people and devices can be connected, we must realize how dangerous IoT can be as well. As the adoption of IoT’s by healthcare organizations increases, the security concerns to rise as the playing field for threats expands. For instance, a hospital environment is in a constant flux where at any given moment, mass amounts of information are exchanged and people and devices enter the network intermittently. Within this transference, devices that have developed networks and connectivity glitches, fuel the opportunity of network corruption or other security headaches. These types of concerns require that the volume of data generated by the devices be continuously monitored in efforts to ensure there are no HIPAA violations or possible cyberattacks.

Security is a real and constant concern!

As of recently, the healthcare industry has begun to acknowledge and address the IoT security concerns, but more importantly, they must identify their vulnerabilities and who can be the source of the next big attack. We often think the primary culprit is someone from the outside with malicious intent, but truth is, the attacker can also be those that you least expect….YOUR PATIENTS! About two years ago, MassDevice.com published a story about two patients in an Austrian hospital that hacked their own morphine pumps. To feed their addiction, they turned to the internet to obtain control codes to hack the medical devices in order to increase their dosage.2 This incident is just a shred of the evidence that exposes how important it is for the healthcare industry to have a proper security protocol in place.

Cyber-threats are inevitable, don’t wait until it’s too late!

Here at Micro Strategies we have a commitment to remain abreast of emerging threats to the medical community, and identifies solutions or processes that can mitigate them. Speak with one of our security experts today to discuss a plan for establishing and implementing an air-tight IoT security program. For information about Micro Strategies Security Practice, download our brochure today!

Questions? Please contact:

Micro Strategies Security Practice

(973) 625-7721 x6504

Security@microstrat.com

Co-Authored by: Doug Concepcion, Security Solutions Architect, Micro Strategies

  1. Ferenc, Jeff. "Internet of Things Impacts Hospitals, Health Care Facilities." Health Facilities Management RSS. Health Facilities Management, 21 Mar. 2016. Web. 16 Nov. 2016.
  2. Sarvestani, Arezu. "Hospital Patient Hacks His Own Morphine Pump." MassDevice. 15 Aug. 2014. Web. 17 Nov. 2016.