Survey: 76 Percent of Health IT Execs Confident that IoT Devices are Protected

July 19, 2017
A survey of IT decision-makers within the healthcare industry found that the majority of IT departments believe that existing security solutions for laptops and servers can also protect connected Internet of Things (IoT) medical devices.

A survey of IT decision-makers within the healthcare industry found that the majority of IT departments believe that existing security solutions for laptops and servers can also protect connected Internet of Things (IoT) medical devices.

The survey, which was fielded in early June and conducted by ZingBox, a Mountain View, Calif.-based IoT security solutions provider, revealed that more than 90 percent of healthcare IT networks have IoT devices connected to them, and most of these healthcare IT decision-makers believe that the traditional security solutions used to secure laptops and servers are sufficient to secure IoT connected medical devices.

Xu Zou, CEO and co-founder of ZingBox, said the survey results demonstrate “the current state of confusion and misconceptions abound in the healthcare industry on how best to secure connected medical devices.” “The need to gain a deeper understanding of the unique individual personalities of IoT devices remains a foreign concept to many.  Unfortunately, you need to understand the device personalities to gain accurate visibility and protection,” he said in a statement.

In addition, the survey found that over 76 percent of IT decision-makers within healthcare organizations are confident or very confident that all devices connected to their network are protected. Surprisingly, despite using the same laptop and server security techniques, IT at healthcare organizations believe they can detect irregularities in network traffic and account for the different personalities of an infusion pump or glucometer and can detect when it’s not behaving as intended.

“IoT technology presents special challenges to a healthcare organization’s ability to protect itself from both insider threats as well as external cyber-attacks across a wide range of attack vectors, as demonstrated by the most recent WannaCry ransomware and NotPetya wiperware attacks. As these attacks continue to step to the forefront, companies deploying IoT devices need to be more cognizant than ever of their security measures,” Zou said.

May Wang, CTO and co-founder of ZingBox said that the survey results were “sobering” in terms of the risks the healthcare community faces. “This is a tremendous opportunity to raise awareness of healthcare organizations regarding their perception of security and their need to consider modern techniques such as cloud, machine learning and real-time remediation across an organization’s entire IoT footprint. IoT requires a more thorough approach to constantly monitor for deviations in behavior and provide alerts for suspicious behavior,” Wang said.

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