With all that is occurring in the world right now, securing connections and devices in healthcare facilities, as well as networks, has never been more important. A hacker or cybercriminal can do a lot of damage to healthcare companies and to life-saving devices if they were to get into the right network. It’s no longer a matter of protecting records since so many devices are connected virtually. The machine themselves are up for grabs.
Keeping up with the technology may seem like an endless task, but it should always be a top priority for the sake of you and your patients or customers.
Holistic Cybersecurity and Healthcare
The world of healthcare has changed immensely in the past 15 years, mostly because of the new way the world communicates. IoT technology now applies to more than consumer products, it’s now a part of many aspects of our lives, including healthcare. Since technology has changed the whole of how we get treatments, medical records, and handle insurance claims, securing our devices requires a multi-level holistic approach that goes beyond securing data.
Let’s take a look at some of the devices that cybercriminals and hackers can target before looking into some ways to secure devices.
What Can Be Hacked
It was mentioned earlier, but should be repeated. Data isn’t the only thing that can be stolen via an unsecured network or device. Even with data, it’s not just financial information. Adoption records, health records, organ donations, all of it is on the table. Beyond that information, here are some devices that can be hacked if not properly secured:
With touch-screen devices being in so many facilities, it’s no wonder the pens they come with are a concern. The reason for securing these devices isn’t so they can be controlled, but what they touch and write can be monitored.
Implanted Cardiac Devices
Pacemakers have been updated like most medical technology, allowing information to be sent wirelessly. This opens doors for cybercriminals. Having a hacker in an unsecured cardiac device can be more than unsecured; it can be deadly.
You’re probably wondering why someone would hack a fancy thermometer-it’s an odd thing to target for sure. It’s not that device in particular that gets cybercriminals attention; it’s everything that it is connected to. Any unsecured device is a road to the larger network.
Infusion pumps of all kinds of varieties make up more than half of IoT devices employed in medicine. This is a major security concern for any medical network or patient. A hack can mean improper delivery of medicine, mistaken information being fed to monitors, or be a gateway into more sensitive information and devices.
3 Security Methods
The above isn’t an exhaustive list. For example, you’ll notice wireless monitors aren’t included. There are many devices that can be threatened if not properly secured. Let’s look at 3 ways you can secure your healthcare devices:
- Control all that is connected: a tightly monitored and controlled network, as well as all devices connected to it, makes for stellar security. Running sensors, having network intelligence, and educating employees on network security all help prevent cybercriminals from infiltrating.
- Centralize Security with Device Segmentation: a separate network for IoT devices helps prevent anyone from getting into the main network. That network can have the ability to monitor all the connected devices without threatening the central network where all the information is.
- Align IT departments: Never change cybersecurity protocols with devices from healthcare companies without coordinating with their IT department. Changes for how devices are handled or information transmitted without including those who are experienced in cybersecurity can open doors you weren’t aware of.
Keeping Health Devices Healthy
There is an argument that some of the most important cybersecurity concerns outside of government are in the healthcare industry. Again, it isn’t just about the sensitive data regarding your medical and financial information, it’s also the tools used to deliver medicine, save lives, and enable physicians to do their jobs safely. The technological era has delivered many medical wonders, but also has provided new paths to thieves.
Keep your health devices healthy by keeping them secured correctly.