How Healthcare IT Approaches IoT Security

A recent survey's results demonstrate a significant need for understanding the unique personalities, and security needs, of IoT devices.

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Thanks to John Yun, Head of Marketing at ZingBox for sharing the results of its survey of IT decision-makers within the healthcare industry. The survey, fielded in early July, found that the majority of healthcare IT networks have IoT devices and that most IT departments believe existing security solutions for laptops and servers can also protect connected medical devices.

More than 90% of healthcare IT networks have IoT devices connected to them and over 70% believe traditional security solutions used to secure laptops and servers are sufficient to secure IoT connected medical devices.

“The survey results demonstrate the current state of confusion and misconceptions abound in the healthcare industry on how best to secure connected medical devices. The need to gain a deeper understanding of the unique individual personalities of IoT devices remains a foreign concept to many. Unfortunately, you need to understand the device personalities to gain accurate visibility and protection,” said Xu Zou, CEO and co-founder of ZingBox. “IoT technology presents special challenges to a healthcare organization’s ability to protect itself from both insider threats as well as external cyber- attacks across a wide range of attack vectors, as demonstrated by the most recent WannaCry ransomware and NotPetya wiperware attacks. As these attacks continue to step to the forefront, companies deploying IoT devices need to be more cognizant than ever of their security measures.”

In addition, the survey found that more than 76% of IT decision-makers within healthcare organizations are confident or very confident that all devices connected to their network are protected. Surprisingly, despite using the same laptop and server security techniques, IT at healthcare organizations believe they can detect irregularities in network traffic and account for the different personalities of an infusion pump or glucometer and can detect when it’s not behaving as intended.

“The results of the survey were sobering in terms of the risks the healthcare community faces,” said May Wang, CTO and co-founder of ZingBox. “This is a tremendous opportunity to raise awareness of healthcare organizations regarding their perception of security and their need to consider modern techniques such as cloud, machine learning and real-time remediation across an organization’s entire IoT footprint. IoT requires a more thorough approach to constantly monitor for deviations in behavior and provide alerts for suspicious behavior.”