Why is the state of medical IoT so scary?

To oversimplify a little – medical tech
is evolving quickly: From the digitization of medical record-keeping to the advent of
devices that actively help monitor and manage treatment, such as portable diagnostic devices,
insulin pumps and more. However, that evolution might be happening
too quickly, when you consider the security issues that have been revealed about many
of the devices that store our treatment information and even help manage our care. There are a lot of layers to this issue, according
to the experts. For one thing, the companies making devices
are, obviously, medical device makers, who might not be the most sophisticated ones out
there where security is concerned. The bigger issue, however, is at the software
level – the devices used to speed up and mechanize the actual tasks involved with patient care
are disturbingly insecure. Ever since security expert and diabetic Jay
Radcliffe demonstrated a trivially simple way to compromise his connected insulin pump
in 2011, many in the security field have been trying to warn healthcare providers and the
public that medical IoT gadgets are often unsafe. Part of the problem is patching – a huge
number of connected medical devices weren’t originally designed to be connected to the
broader Internet, so the companies that made them aren’t used to issuing regular security
patches. Another issue is that a lot of the effort
being spent on digital security in the medical field is focused on HIPAA compliance – an
important issue, and one that’s crucial to keeping patient data private, but it means
that there’s plenty of work being done on problems that aren’t medical IoT. There’s no real end in sight, but most experts
agree that any possible solution starts with getting IT security pros to work with healthcare
providers, in order to get a clearer picture of what a functional, secure technological
infrastructure around healthcare would look like.

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One thought on “Why is the state of medical IoT so scary?

  1. Great video. We have helped large multinational organisations with their IoT medical device security, so know this all so well. Device trust, data trust, and operational scale for the interconnected world is required.

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