IoT Security in the Medical Industry
By Roland Atoui
IoT is everywhere today, and one area where it’s gaining prevalence is the medical industry. The Internet of Medical Things, or IoMT for short, is another crucial area where security needs to be addressed. Smart technologies provide many benefits in the medical industry. With that in mind, it’s no wonder that smart devices are increasingly being used in hospitals.
The Evolution of IoMT
Smart technologies provide many benefits in the medical industry. With that in mind, it’s no wonder that smart devices are increasingly being used in hospitals. Such devices allow doctors to quickly and continuously monitor their patients and their medical situations. What’s more, smart technologies allow for more precise analysis and earlier recognition of medical issues.
Naturally, smart devices enable other benefits that are not connected to the patients’ health. Hospitals and other medical centers rely on smart devices for quicker and easier monitoring and information flow.
Additionally, smart devices can instantly be improved by their manufacturers without having to be physically present in the hospital. This enhances the effectiveness of medical machines and ensures that nothing breaks at an inopportune moment. IoMT ultimately lowers costs for the medical industry. The current estimates say that IoMT will save some $300 million for the U.S. health industry.
At the moment, research by Deloitte shows that hospitals in the U.S. have an average of 15 smart medical devices per bed. The entire market of IoMT is expected to reach $52 billion by 2022. What’s more, the IoMT market is one of the biggest parts of the whole IoT market, which shows how beneficial smart devices are for the medical industry.
The Security Risks in IoMT
With the increase of IoMT popularity, we are also noticing an increase in security threats. Hackers are increasingly targeting public institutions in the U.S., and the main targets are usually hospitals.
In the last few years, cyberattacks on healthcare institutions have caused several problems. They disrupted many of their vital services, caused financial losses, and lowered patient confidence in the entire healthcare system. They’ve also posed risks to the very safety of patients’ health.
When it comes to IoMT, there are two important aspects we need to consider: the physical threat and the privacy risks.
Privacy risks are already being exploited at large hospitals that have weaker cybersecurity systems. However, with the increased use of IoMT, patients’ information is more at risk than ever.
On another note, the physical threat is more problematic as breached smart devices can cause significant health problems, and can even lead to death. Pacemakers are the most obvious problem here, as they can create the most severe problems for their users, including death.
All in all, hackers are not going to stop exploiting the lack of security in healthcare institutions and IoMT devices. It’s thus essential to focus on improving the effectiveness of IoT security in the medical industry.
The developers and manufacturers of IoMT devices need to focus more on improving the security of their devices. The hacking community will continue to target them and will also continue to evolve and improve their methods. IoT security needs to follow, if not surpass that improvement.