The digital health market has gained remarkable momentum over recent years, thanks to the prevalence of chronic illnesses like cancer and diabetes. According to statistics from the Transparency Market Research (TMR), the global digital health market was worth $179.6 billion in 2016. The market is projected to reach $536.6 billion by 2025. The technological advancement in healthcare and medical infrastructure is also projected to grow over the next couple of years to support this market.
How IoT influences healthcare
The Internet of Things (IoT) plays a critical role among disruptive technologies in the healthcare industry. IoT brings a lot of benefits in healthcare, including real-time monitoring for patients, scheduled drug administration, and on-time alerts. Other benefits include:
Cybersecurity concerns of IoT
Since most IoT devices are not encrypted, they can put you at risk of cyberattack. In 2018, an experiment testing the vulnerability of implantable insulin revealed that by remotely disabling the implantable insulin pump, you can prevent it from delivering medication and take control of the pacemaker system. Researchers predict that cases of hacking medical devices for ransom or murder will emerge. The term “medjacking,” which means hijacking medical devices, is now common in the healthcare arena.
Insecure IoT devices can be easily hijacked and used as botnets in DDoS attacks. Just recently, we witnessed the Mirai botnet attack, and many more cases are cropping up by the day. While personally identifiable information like patient names, home addresses, credit card numbers, social security numbers, date of birth, etc, can be exploited by cybercriminals to execute identity theft, medjacking can equally have serious consequences on the victim.
A new report by Carbon Black now highlights how hackers use stolen healthcare data to their advantage. Details like protected health information (PHI), healthcare provider data, and hacked health insurance company login information are very valuable to cybercriminals.
How to secure healthcare devices
Medical devices used in hospitals or at home, like monitors and sensors, can be secured with a VPN installed on a router. Other devices used on the go, like pacemakers, can be vulnerable to hacking as soon as they get out of your secure home network. Here are some other vital tips to keep your medical IoT devices secure:
When dealing with medical IoT devices, always trade cautiously and avoid connecting to open networks. Hackers can easily use public Wi-Fi networks to steal your identity and other vital medical data. IoT has massive potential in the healthcare industry and can significantly improve the lives of patients. However, these cybersecurity best practices must be observed at all times to prevent harm.