Healthcare IoT Security Risks, Issues, and Best Practices

IoT is the latest tech revelation that is transforming the healthcare sector. Nowadays, we have implantable cardiac devices that monitor and regulate irregular heartbeats in patients with heart problems. IoT devices come embedded with firmware and sensors that communicate with other services or apps in the cloud.

However, despite all the good, IoT devices are also prone to attacks. Malicious hackers always look for weak points in the system they can manipulate. A single breach in healthcare IoT devices or networks can expose sensitive medical data or disrupt life-critical treatments.

Let’s delve into the risks and issues plaguing healthcare IoT security.

Potential Risks and Issues

Most healthcare IoT devices only require a password to access the administrator panel and control settings. Weak authentication systems are always at risk of brute force and social engineering attacks. Once hackers gain access, they can easily steal data or manipulate device settings, risking a patient’s life.

Healthcare IoT devices collect and transmit high volumes of personal health data. According to HIPPA laws and regulations, healthcare service providers are responsible for patient data privacy, security, and integrity. Unencrypted patient data can be stolen and sold on the black market.

IoT devices rely heavily on cloud services for communication. Hackers can target the network, spamming it with too many requests to create a denial-of-service (DoS) attack. This will limit the flow of data, rendering the devices inoperable remotely and putting the patient’s life at risk.

Tackling the Risks: Best Practices

Building an IoT healthcare device that is 100% foolproof is next to impossible. However, there are ways to make the devices safer and more secure, as per this Empeek article. The first step is implementing robust security features in the design. This includes keeping the source code safe and implementing the latest authentication and data encryption services.

As the name suggests, IoT devices rely on the internet for communication. Avoid using public networks to transmit sensitive data. Instead, isolate IoT healthcare devices on a private and dedicated network. This will minimize data and service loss risks, especially when a DoS attack happens.

Strong authentication on all devices and access points can limit the risk of hackers gaining access through dictionary attacks or social engineering. OTP and multi-factor authentication can make the devices more secure and safer.

Attackers will always look for vulnerabilities and weak points they can exploit. Updating the device software to the latest editions can patch known vulnerabilities and prevent attackers from exploiting them. Firmware updates will come with the newest encryption services to ensure that data is safe.

Last, don’t forget to train your staff on safety when accessing IoT healthcare devices. Discourage them from logging into the system or network using public Wi-Fi.

Final Takeaway

There is more to come, and the future of IoT healthcare devices looks promising. However, security risks and threats will always be an issue when using the internet. The success of IoT healthcare technology can be improved by adopting safety practices to ensure that the devices are safe and secure.