Security and Privacy Issues with IoT Healthcare Devices
First things first, though the Internet of things or IoT as it’s called needs no introduction, IoT is the networking of physical devices that are connected through a single server.
As per research by Reports and Data, the global IoT in Healthcare Market is forecasted to grow at a rate of 19.8% from USD 60.83 Billion in 2019 to USD 260.75 Billion in 2027. The scope and benefits of IoT in healthcare can be majorly associated with trends about innovations in medicine, medical devices, and overall healthcare service delivery for maximum customer satisfaction.
These devices give you the liberty to be connected remotely across an active network infrastructure that allows better integration of devices with your computer systems. This kind of integration helps with improved efficiency and accuracy adding to a ton of economic benefits for you and your clients.
Today IoT has a huge influence on the healthcare sector that involves easy monitoring of patients and using such data for better analytics. Talking about IoT for medical device integration, the focus has shifted towards the end consumer needs that include medical devices made to record data of the patients’ everyday vitals. A lot of this process is automated that includes auto-generated reports and treatment recommendations. The hiccup that arises here is the little importance companies give to the privacy of this data. Easy accessibility of such critical information to someone outside or even within the system gives them the power to severely injure or even kill someone without being detected. The rise of such hackable medical devices has pushed the food and drug administration (FDA) to issue formal guidance on how such cyber vulnerabilities must be handled. Today we have enough QA consulting companies that deliver step-by-step guidance on how to proceed with safely releasing a medical healthcare device into the market.
This write up will focus on the various security and privacy issues healthcare based applications face and what measures companies can take to secure their healthcare IoT devices.
Security and Privacy Issues with IoT in Healthcare:
DDoS with IoT Devices
Distributed Denial of Service or DDoS as it’s called is a non-intrusive internet attack carried out to dismantle the targeted website that eventually slows down the functionality of a server, application or network by flooding it with fake users traffic. This essentially means that a server is denying its service to the user resulting in the system crashing. There are various methods used to prevent your application from a DDoS trap that mostly uses malicious botnets. Off lately, the code of malware that builds botnets out of IoT products was publicly released that instantly increased the number of IoT devices infected by it to more than 450,000 approximately. The same value was close to 200,000 before. Imagine the amount of collateral damage this must have caused internally putting the security of thousands of application’s data at risk.
Wearable Technology and Associated Security Risks
The latest invention in the IoT for healthcare devices that rolled into the market has been wearable technology. Gadgets like smartwatches, wrist bands, smart monitors and other associated wearable devices work as extensions to your mobile devices and give access to news, notifications, texts, emails and much more. They come with an inbuilt sensor that measures your stress, SPO2, sleep and what not, but when it comes to security most of these devices fail to save you from malicious attackers.
Issues that range from personal data exposure to user interfaces that lacked two-factor authentication or the aptitude to freeze accounts after multiple failed password attempts all contributed to the extreme levels of vulnerability your integrated IoT devices can expose you to.
Top 4 Ways To Secure Your Healthcare IoT Devices
IoT Security Analytics
When it comes to healthcare, it is essential to track all major activities happening in your IoT enabled devices and applications. This can be accomplished by IoT security analytics. IoT security analytics give you notifications about potential cyber threats in your app well in advance, which gives you enough time to mitigate them before your app goes into a potential data risk. It helps you create a full proof protection strategy through in-depth data analysis where it uses data procured through different devices clubbed together.
Major IoT devices need remote access and connection via sensors to collect data in the healthcare industry. Hackers majorly target remote devices integrated through a network because of their limited security provisions. When it comes to increasing security standards and significantly reducing the rapidly evolving cyber threats in networks, it’s essential to update your healthcare IoT device software from time to time.
These software updates help IoT devices incorporate new features by providing secure remote management firmware along with identifying and eliminating security breaches.
Public Key Infrastructure
Public Key Infrastructure or PKI is a security solution that authenticates devices and users in the online world. It provides encryption and authentication solutions for all IoT devices that can be used to gate private patient data and ensure its visible to only concerned departments. A PKI is a common and useful way of minimising the risks associated with transferring information from one device to another. It uses a cryptographic key to identify a user or device on an online network. This data can then be shared with internal departments to check the vulnerability of your application in the latter stages. The demand for PKIs has increased significantly and in order to enable safe authentication of your system, you need to install proper healthcare certificates.
Secure Cloud Platform
Today cloud platforms are the top preference of all major companies or businesses for data storage. Similarly, the healthcare sector also uses cloud platforms for storing and transferring essential data from IoT devices. Therefore, cloud data storage protection becomes a major concern to protect IoT healthcare devices from data breaches. The way to go ahead is proper authentication control. Some basic practices that can be adopted include changing passwords at regular intervals and ensuring the account is blocked for a defined time frame after repeated failed attempts.
There have been active researches across the industry that predict the interference of ransomware for a medical device or wearable technology. It’s obvious that IoT devices are here to stay and their involvement in healthcare cannot be limited. They help you cut costs and increase the efficiency of your systems to a great extent.
Hence, it’s is important to ensure that the networks we use run on automated workflows and give quick access to critical work information while ensuring the security of your applications. This can easily be accomplished by implementing proper security policies and implementing solutions that focus on vulnerabilities and configuration assessments, along with proper event monitoring.
Security of IoT healthcare devices isn’t just about figuring out security risks and securing data. It’s more about building strong and long-lasting relationships with your clients. You need a strong testing partner to create that kind of impact with your clients. ImpactQA’s dynamic application security testing services effectively expose your software vulnerabilities to minimize risks and ensure better security and scalability of your application.
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