As medical technology moves toward increasing connectivity, the door has opened to security breaches. Since 2005, over 880 million records have been stolen due to data breaches. With today’s advances in technology, patients and physicians have better access to lifesaving medicine and procedures. But keeping patients and their data safe from cyber criminals is a growing concern.
These are four reasons why connected medical devices must be secured on a network.
1. Connectivity Leads to Vulnerability
More and more medical devices are built with Internet of Things (IoT) features. Health-monitoring devices like glucometers, blood pressure monitors, and insulin pumps track and transfer information online. Hospitals can even monitor vital signs remotely. When one IoT-enabled device is placed on a network, it becomes part of a system. Understand each device’s risks so you can balance system security with safety and effectiveness.
2. Physical Safety Is on the Line
Unfortunately, some medical devices have serious vulnerabilities that could be exploited by malevolent cyber actors. For example, the Symbiq Infusion System is a product that provides continuous delivery of infusion therapy for patients. It was discovered that the device could be accessed remotely through a hospital’s network. Unauthorized users could control the device and change dosage amounts. Network administrators must be vigilant about cybersecurity to protect patients from physical harm caused by cyber attacks.
3. Protect Personal Information
With increased connectivity, patients and healthcare providers have easy access to data. This is great for treatment options, but also opens the door to potential breaches. Medical devices can contain confidential information like social security numbers, addresses, phone numbers and health history. Secure these devices to protect private information and reduce the risk of identity theft.
4. Know Your Network
To combat these risks, the Food and Drug Administration has taken action. Device manufacturers are legally responsible to identify risks and hazards associated with their devices. Administrators must know how every device fits into their network security system. Knowing device vulnerabilities is the first step in keeping patients and data safe.
Safe and Secure
Medical device connectivity brings patients and healthcare providers closer together. However, it also opens the door to network vulnerabilities. Understand risks and secure IoT-enabled devices to keep your patients and their data safe.