Medical Device and Network Security – Coming to Terms with the Internet of Medical Things

According to Frost & Sullivan’s Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) Forecast to 2021 report, by 2020, 20 billion to 30 billion connected IoT and medical devices are expected to be a part of the healthcare ecosystem. This explosion of connected devices in the already vulnerable healthcare sector is a growing concern for healthcare providers, medical device manufacturers, the government, and the public at large. The emergence of IoMT as a part of everyday healthcare practice is alarming after failing to adopt basic security protections. Healthcare will increase its attack surface rather than shrink its attack surface. Concerted efforts to address these issues have been largely focused on pre-market devices, but the realization of the existence and use of large fleets of legacy medical devices has resulted in new post-market guidelines and regulations, including recalls. Neither replacement nor re-certification of medical devices currently in use is an attractive option due to the cost and complexity involved. Innovative approaches to protect network security and prepare for the inevitability of the IoMT explosion are needed to ensure quality care delivery, consistent outcomes and the financial health of healthcare institutions.

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