The imperative for securing connected medical devices

May 17, 2018  Source: Ddu 184

The implementation of privacy protocols and security controls is pertinent to protecting patient records and sensitive data. However, the threat to patient safety, the core of every modern health system, being compromised is growing rapidly owing to network-connected medical devices.

With data pointing to the fact that the average modern-day hospital room containing around 15-20 of connected medical devices, they are becoming a key corollary of modern medical infrastructure. A few of these devices remain vulnerable with running on obsolete operating systems while significant vulnerabilities are the key features of others in the form of embedded passwords in the software code. It is estimated that as compared to traditional networked devices such as laptops and smartphones, a modern-day hospital contains twice the number of IoT devices. Securing these devices to plug data leaks is emerging as a significant challenge for health systems around the world. Though there is no foolproof measure for resolving the issue, the implementation of safety measures and controls for making these devices risk-secure and ensure that patient safety is not violated.  

Clinical engineering and cyber-security teams can have their tasks simplified with the deployment of a common and standard procurement process in the area of asset management. Implementing port security through network access control is an effective measure in controlling the unwanted access of rogue medical devices into the medical network without going through the proper channels.

By editor