July 9, 2020
The prevalence of MedTech – or technology having to do with medicine and health – has skyrocketed as providers are looking for new ways to serve patients remotely or to improve their quality of care. These concerns have understandably heightened during the Covid-19 pandemic, especially as hospitals and other medical clinics have suffered a significant increase in cyberattacks.
There are several considerable vulnerabilities inherent in telehealth systems. Firstly, the two main endpoints, patients and doctors, each provide opportunities for cyberattacks. Patients receiving treatments or medical information through a video call or email may not have proper security measures set up in their homes to ward off hackers. Meanwhile, though clinics and hospitals do have some level of cyberhealth, doctors may not be properly trained on the importance of or how to use various cybersecurity measures, such as two-factor authentication.
As MedTech increasingly is turning to IoT devices to provide care, the security of these endpoints, as well as the communications between them, is crucial. Remote devices that operate within a home network, such as heart monitoring systems or insulin pumps, which can be critical to a patient’s wellbeing, are incredibly vulnerable to cyberattacks. They can be tricky to secure, as they often can’t be protected by basic security functions such as passwords or may not have the processing power for other cyber solutions.
With these vulnerabilities, both the function of MedTech devices and sensitive patient information are at risk. And, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, telehealth systems have been quickly implemented without a full investigation into potential dangers and solutions.
Going forward, as telehealth becomes a new norm and MedTech devices continue to be developed and distributed, providers must find a way to secure the communications between endpoints. Angoka’s solutions were developed for this purpose, validating the identity of devices and safeguarding the communications between them.
This is critical and must be implemented soon to ensure the safety of patients, as well as the security of their personal data. Without these considerations, MedTech and telehealth will soon become a liability instead of a step forward in healthcare services.
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