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The Challenge of IoMT Security

The Challenge of IoMT Security

IoMT is an extension of IoT, or the Internet of Things. IoMT stands for Internet of Medical Things, also known as healthcare IoT, and is a collection of medical devices that connect healthcare IT systems through online networks.

If medical devices are equipped with Wi-Fi, and allow machine-to-machine communication, that is IoMT. IoMT devices link to cloud-based platforms that allow data to be stored and analyzed.

Like IoT, IoMT is currently under explosive growth. The global market for IoMT was $24.4 billion in 2019, and is estimated to be $285.5 billion by 2029.

IoMT is set to control all aspects of health. It can create better connections between doctors and patients, and can provide invaluable tools for people in caregiving situations. Yet most IoMT devices being created aren’t designed with security in mind. Security is an afterthought. And that creates a burden of potential compromise.

As a healthcare practice, this can leave you vulnerable in two ways.

IoMT devices continue to morph and change

In order to release a new device onto the marketplace, a company spends time perfecting all aspects of the new invention. To gain FDA approval, the company is aware of all the data that must go into the device, and be diligent about ensuring every aspect is up to date and operating well.

The problem comes with longevity. Once FDA approval is granted, and the device moves into operation, the company goes into sales and marketing mode. Yes, it continues to ensure its product meets internal qualifications. But the concept of “top security” may wane. It may slide into “good” mode, ensuring it meets the basic qualifications. Instead, they spend time ensuring the original purpose is attractive and marketable. That ultimately can put you and your patients at risk.

Legacy systems put healthcare practices at risk

The other issue also involves longevity. Your practice and patients may stay relatively safe as long as you use a current product or service, but what happens when they release new models? Eventually, old technology is no longer supported, and that ups the risk factors.

Medical personnel often get comfortable with technology, and if it works, why change it? That means at any given point in time, medical facilities around the country may be operating with several legacy devices and systems in place. With little or no support behind it, it can be an open door waiting to be infiltrated.

Risk is ever-evolving

The critical thing to understand is that cybersecurity risks for all medical devices are continually evolving. There will never be a way to control all risks. Therefore, having proper systems in place to reduce risk is the most important thing any medical practice can have in place.

As new things come to market, picking and choosing wisely can help you increase your brand within your community. Having security protocol in place means you reduce vulnerabilities as you continue to grow.

Do you have all that in place now as IoMT moves into explosive growth?

For IT Strategy, Cloud Conversion, or Help Desk Services reach out to us at Silver Linings Technology 360-450-4759.