Cyber Security For The Internet of Medical Things

The healthcare industry increasingly relies on IoT networks to securely connect a growing variety of medical devices and equipment. These connected devices are transforming processes and the continuum of care in applications ranging from a hospital’s consignment inventory management to remotely controlling insulin pumps, heart-rate monitors, and other implantable devices using smartphones. 

The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) has the potential to improve healthcare, save lives, and bring massive savings. But if not properly secured, these same devices can pose huge risks.

According to a recent report from Palo Alto's threat intellingence Unit 42, 83% of medical imaging devices are running on unsupported operating systems, making them potential avenues for attackers.  Attacks on medical devices like these can potentially disrupt the quality of care and allow attackers to steal patient data.

Now an IoT security technology for healthcare has been designed by Palo Alto Networks to protect medical devices from unauthorised access.  Using machine learning and crowd-sourced telemetry, the solution quickly and accurately profiles all devices on the network, even those never seen before. Through ML-powered visibility, it delivers deep insights on healthcare-specific devices and vulnerabilities to help improve data security and patient safety, while meeting the needs of both IT teams and biomedical engineering teams.

Palo Alto say that their technology provides healthcare organisations with “complete visibility, in-depth risk analysis, and built-in prevention so they can get the maximum benefits from this transformative technology while reducing risks to patients and their data.” The new solution is designed to ensure healthcare organisations can realize the benefits of IoT for patient care without sacrificing security. It even offers ML-powered policy recommendations to reduce manual effort; intrusion prevention to block exploits; sandboxing to detect and prevent IoT malware; and URL and DNS security to stop IoT attacks via the web.

The new security features include MDS2 document ingestion through which medical device manufacturers disclose the security-related features of their devices, allowing for deeper vulnerability analysis, tuned anomaly detection and specific recommended policies.

Another feature is operational insights that provide biomedical and clinical engineering teams visibility into how, when and where medical devices on their network are being used, according to futureiot.tech.  Solutions like these add small incremental cost to IoMT-based consignment inventory management systems, connected legacy medical equipment, and smartphone-controlled implantable healthcare devices, but the benefits they deliver are manifold. 

They significantly improve security while providing the opportunity to differentiate IoMT offerings based on the incalculable benefit of protecting patients from injury or death.

Kaspersky:             IOT For All:      I-HLS:      Deloitte:       HealthTech:      Image: Unsplash

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