Securing Internet-Connected Devices in the New Era of Healthcare

The proliferation of medical and internet-connected gadgets in healthcare brings each scientific advantages and safety dangers. Simply suppose of the quantity of healthcare knowledge being transferred and saved on daily basis — knowledge from IoT and linked medical gadgets, digital well being information (EHRs), scientific workstations, and sensible hospital functions for sufferers, clinicians, researchers, and directors.

All of this knowledge requires safe and segmented networks to higher defend medical gadgets, visitor wi-fi gadgets, clinician gadgets and extra from cybersecurity threats.

As half of Nationwide Cybersecurity Consciousness Month, we’re specializing in what’s at stake with regards to securing internet-connected gadgets in healthcare and how one can create an end-to-end safety technique to assist deal with affected person privateness necessities, enhance risk detection, cut back administration complexity and in the end decrease the dangers related to medical and IoT gadgets.

Why do my internet-connected gadgets must be safe?

With the quantity of linked gadgets on healthcare networks rising, and extra gadgets requiring community connectivity, there’s by no means been a extra vital time to contemplate your medical device and IoT security strategy.

Do you know that 63% of healthcare organizations skilled a safety incident associated to unmanaged and IoT gadgets in the previous two years?1

The common quantity of linked medical gadgets per hospital room is 15-20, and every of these medical gadgets have, on common, 6.2 vulnerabilities.2

Legacy medical gadgets can enhance the risk floor as properly. Sixty % (60%) of medical gadgets are at end-of-life stage, with no patches or upgrades accessible. And the common age of medical gadgets being utilized by hospitals and healthcare organizations is 20+ years, making them vital targets for hackers.2

Add mobility to the combine, and you’ve got much more gadgets to safe. 4 in 5 clinicians use smartphones every day3, and 71% of clinicians mentioned their hospital permits BYOD use.4

So, what’s at stake?

Above all, affected person security continues to be the best concern with regards to the safety of internet-connected gadgets.

In 2017, the Meals and Drug Administration recalled 465,000 pacemakers after the discovery of safety vulnerabilities that might doubtlessly put sufferers’ lives in danger.5

Lately, a ransomware attack on a German hospital may become the first ever to result in death.6 After the emergency clinic’s IT community was attacked, a 78-year-old girl was redirected to a care facility greater than 20 miles away, ensuing in delayed care that in the end induced her passing.

When vital scientific gadgets are hacked, it will possibly grow to be a matter of life and demise, thus emphasizing the significance of a robust safety technique.

What are you able to do to guard your sufferers and internet-connected gadgets?  

To guard affected person knowledge and safe your networks, customers, endpoints, cloud edge and functions, you want a robust safety technique that features the following:

  • Skill to establish all endpoints on the community, categorize every to a safety posture, and create profiles and insurance policies by system sort and vendor
  • Rapidly establish, isolate, and remediate cyber assaults
  • Management entry to affected person knowledge at the system, location, and consumer degree to attenuate danger
  • Analytics and scientific knowledgeable alerts that allow IT to attenuate safety dangers to the total community whereas troubleshooting a identified situation in an remoted phase

With Cisco Secure, and the Cisco SecureX platform, you may enhance affected person security, automate medical and IoT system monitoring and stock, and cut back the danger related to internet-connected gadgets inside your healthcare facility.

Learn more about the healthcare security portfolio


  1. Armis, Medical and IOT Gadget Safety for Healthcare, 2019​
  2. Cybersecurity Magazine, Patient Insecurity: Explosion Of The Internet Of Medical Things​
  3. Beckers Health  IT, 14 Statistics on Clinicians and Mobile Device Usage
  4. BYOD use is on the rise, and hospital policies need to be robust, Healthcare Dive, April 2018
  5. 465,000 Pacemakers Recalled on Hacking Fears, Fortune
  6. Ransomware attack on a hospital may be first ever to cause a death, Fortune


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