Sunday, April 14, 2024

Healthcare IoT Security: Risks, Issues, Best Practices

The healthcare industry, like many other industries, has seen a revolution in technological innovations in recent years. An important example of this is the introduction of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. These devices have had an important impact on the delivery of healthcare. The key benefits of IoT devices include streamlined operations, improved patient care, reducing the level of paperwork needed, and improving the overall efficiency of hospitals and clinics.

However, despite the many benefits they offer to the industry, the use of IoT devices poses a serious threat to data security. Both healthcare institutions and the medical professionals working for them need to be aware of the risks. They need to put adequate measures in place to mitigate them. In this piece, we will explore the issues regarding the use of IoT devices in the healthcare industry and identify the best practices to minimize any risks.

A look at the IoT security risks in the healthcare industry

Below are some of the risks and issues surrounding IoT devices in healthcare:

Cyberattacks

Healthcare IT systems are widely connected nowadays. Any weak link offers cybercriminals a vector to attack them. Bad actors can launch attacks such as ransomware, malware, and denial-of-service attacks.

The biggest issue is that these attacks can expose private patient data that could be sold on the dark web. In addition, denial-of service attacks can lead to service interruptions in the facilities under attack. Luckily, healthcare providers and facilities can work with reliable solution providers such as  Empeek. Empeek are experts in the field of healthcare IoT devices and healthcare system development. Empeek can help providers enhance their system security and prevent such attacks.

Privacy concerns

Patients are usually required to provide detailed personal information to their healthcare providers. They need to be able to enjoy a high level of trust in the healthcare providers with whom they share this information. They need to be sure that their healthcare provider will keep their data secure and confidential.

Unfortunately, the proliferation of IoT devices in the healthcare industry raises some serious concerns about the safety of patient data.  Most people are very concerned about the possibility of unauthorized access to the information about them that is entrusted to healthcare providers.

When cybercriminals manage to gain unauthorized access to a healthcare provider’s IT systems, patient data is at risk of being stolen. At the same time, the reputation and credibility of the provider will be irreparably damaged due to unauthorized access to confidential information.

Regulatory compliance

Healthcare providers are subject to stringent standards, laws, and regulations to safeguard their clients’ data. They must maintain the confidentiality of all the information they are provided in the course of treating patients seeking services from them.  Any providers that do not adhere to the required standards and are non-compliant risk paying hefty fines and expensive lawsuits.

Best practices to improve IoT security in healthcare

Some of the best practices to enhance the security of healthcare IoT devices include:

Risk assessment and management

Healthcare providers must conduct regular security audits of their systems and IoT devices to identify any weaknesses. Once they find any issues, they should work with their suppliers to develop effective measures to mitigate them, secure patient data and ensure the smooth operation of their facilities.

Frequent software updates

Healthcare providers must ensure the software and firmware on their systems and IoT devices are kept up to date and any identified weakness is patched.

Data encryption

It is crucial for all players in the healthcare field to ensure that any data they process or transmit is encrypted to protect it from unauthorized access.

Conclusion

While IoT devices play a significant role in improving service delivery and efficiency in the healthcare industry, they still pose security risks. Fortunately, players in this field can work with experts in IoT solutions and system developers to ensure proper measures are in place to avoid or reduce possible security risks and allow health organizations to enjoy the benefits of these innovations.

Lindsey Ertz
Lindsey Ertz
Lindsey, a curious soul from NY, is a technical, business writer, and journalist. Her passion lies in crafting well-researched, data-driven content that delivers authentic information to global audiences, fostering curiosity and inspiration.

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