Even though the healthcare industry has been slower to adopt Internet of Things technologies than other industries, the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is destined to transform how we keep people safe and healthy, especially as the demand for lowering healthcare costs increases.

The Internet of Medical Things refers to the connected system of medical devices and applications that collect data that is then provided to healthcare IT systems through online computer networks. IoMT can not only help monitor, inform and notify care-givers but also provide healthcare providers with actual data to identify issues before they become critical or to allow for earlier invention.

A report by Allied Market Research predicts that the IoT healthcare market will reach $136.8 billion worldwide by 2021. Today, there are 3.7 million medical devices in use that are connected to and monitor various parts of the body to inform healthcare decisions.

IoMT Cybersecurity Challenges

Most IoMT devices were not designed with security in mind, which makes them especially vulnerable to compromise. In fact, one study suggested that there is an average of 164 cyber threats detected per 1,000 connected host devices. Connected medical devices – from Wi-Fi enabled infusion pumps to smart MRI machines – increase the attack surface of devices sharing information and create security concerns including privacy risks and potential violation of privacy regulations.

The contamination and loss of data and the potential to seize control of a device should be top concerns for healthcare IT teams. An exploited vulnerability leading to the hijacking or ransoming of a device could not only result in clinical risk but even the loss of life.

The recent Vectra 2019 Spotlight Report on Healthcare indicates that the proliferation of healthcare internet-of-things (IoT) devices, along with lack of network segmentation, insufficient access controls and reliance (Read more...)