The internet of medical things (IoMT) is an innovative solution transforming the healthcare industry. With IoMT, healthcare providers can gather data from various medical devices and create a comprehensive view of a patient’s health. The solution enables healthcare professionals to offer more proactive patient care and better treatment outcomes while reducing expenses.
That’s why many healthcare providers are keen on leveraging the internet of medical things. In 2020, as the pandemic caused global turmoil and remote solutions became a necessity, the global market capitalization for the internet of medical things (IoMT) reached a value of USD 41.7 billion.
By the time 2028 arrives, the global internet of medical things (IoMT) market size is projected to be worth USD 187.6 billion, growing at a CAGR of 29.5%.
While there are several benefits of utilizing the IoMT, there are also certain risks associated with the technology. In this blog, we will bring forward some of the vulnerabilities of IoMT.
Vulnerabilities of IoMT
Here are some of the major vulnerabilities of IoMT:
Multiple Entry Points
The interconnectedness of medical devices makes IoMT a groundbreaking solution for healthcare; however, it also makes systems more vulnerable to cyberattacks. Medical devices are difficult to patch. As the number of devices and sensors increases, the possible entry points for attacks also increase. Even a single point of a breach can be catastrophic for the entire system.
That’s why it becomes essential to deploy anti-malware mechanisms to ensure that devices are not susceptible to attacks.
Privacy and Security Issues
IoMT systems gather large amounts of data from patients. This data is often sensitive, and if it falls into the wrong hands, it could be used for malicious purposes. For example, passive attacks such as traffic analysis can allow attackers to gather confidential information on patients like their medical conditions, medications, and treatments.
Active attacks are also possible. For example, an attacker could use a denial-of-service (DoS) attack to disable a device or system, preventing it from being used. Such incidents can cause serious consequences for patients who rely on the device or system for care.
To protect patient privacy and security, healthcare organizations must implement strong security measures like encryption of stored data and data-in-transit.
Most healthcare devices are not equipped with proper authentication mechanisms. Research that aimed to understand the vulnerabilities of IoMT devices observed that many healthcare organizations adhered to default passwords and settings, which were available on the manual online.
This makes it easy for unauthorized individuals to access the network and tamper with it. In such cases, cybercriminals can remotely take control of devices and use them to carry out hostile activities.
Therefore, your organization should have security protocols such as Multi-Factor Authentication in place to improve the safety of IoMT devices.
Unsecured Internet Connection
Usually, healthcare enterprises run IoMT systems on the same network which is used for managing their infrastructure. This not only poses a threat to your IoMT system but also to your entire organization’s infrastructure.
Hence, it is advisable to segment the company’s network. Operate IoMT devices on a separate network. This way, even if there is any breach, the damage will be limited to a small portion of your entire network, which can be countered quickly.
Lack of Visibility
Another major issue with IoMT is the lack of visibility into the network. With so many devices and sensors collecting data, it becomes difficult to track all the activity occurring within the system. According to a study, about 80% of IoMT devices are used frequently in a month. Therefore, it is difficult for the IT team to identify anomalies and potential threats.
A study has shown that many healthcare organizations leveraging IoMT are still using outdated versions of operating systems that are not designed to deal with modern cybersecurity threats. This leaves systems vulnerable to sophisticated attacks that can easily bypass traditional security measures.
Even if the organization is up to date with its operating systems, it is equally important to update the devices in the IoMT system regularly.
IoMT systems offer several transformational benefits to the healthcare organization. However, healthcare providers also need to be aware of these vulnerabilities and take steps to mitigate them.
One of the ways to secure your IoMT system is to conduct risk assessments, implement security measures, and keep up with the latest trends in cybersecurity. By doing so, you can ensure that your IoMT system is protected and can be used to improve patient care.
As testing any system can be an overwhelming task, you can also collaborate with an experienced IT service provider to reduce the workload.
Mindfire Solutions is one of the leading agencies in the IT sector that has assisted several world-renowned organizations with IoT Testing. With our team of industry experts, we offer solutions that are tailored to your organization. If you are also looking to test your IoT or IoMT system, visit Mindfire Solutions to learn more about our services.