The healthcare sector has always been a target for cybercrime due to its abundance of invaluable personal data. The advent of technology—remote patient monitoring devices—has created more avenues for cybercriminals to access medical information. Although remote access and data storage have been efficiently useful to patients and medical professionals, the industry has also been more vulnerable to cybercrime. Therefore, as most healthcare organizations adopt the remote patient monitoring system, there is a need for a stronger cybersecurity function.
Importance of bolstering cybersecurity in a remote monitoring device
Some importance of strengthening cybersecurity in healthcare organizations include:
Reduced Risk of Medical Errors
When a healthcare organization experiences a cyberattack on medical records, some patients’ data are lost. This can lead to doctors and nurses mistakenly administering ineffective or harmful medications to the patient. However, this could be avoided by better cybersecurity.
Improves Patients Privacy Protection
Some essential patients’ information is stored through remote patient monitoring devices, which must be private. Therefore, to avoid access to this privacy, more secured cybersecurity must be adopted.
Adoption of Faster and Safer Medical Technology
To bolster the cyber-security of a healthcare system, more reliable and faster technology can be adopted with no fear of cyberattack. This can also aid in faster and safer patient care. While this may not be apparent at first sight, you are actually saving and controlling money by investing in technology beforehand.
Tips on How to Bolster Cybersecurity in Remote Monitoring Devices
There are different ways by which cybersecurity can be strengthened in healthcare organizations. They include:
Training Medical Professionals on Cybersecurity
Users—Doctors and Nurses—must be trained on how to be security conscious. Most successful cyberattacks are achieved through email-based approaches from the user’s end. Thus, medical professionals need to learn security tactics to protect personal devices and networks at home, either working remotely or in the hospital. They should be trained on security best practices to keep Protected Health Information (PHI) and Personal Identifiable Information (PII).
Zero-trust Framework for Data Access
Healthcare organizations should adopt a zero-trust security framework. This allows medical professionals to prove their identity before they can access specific data resources. Cyber attackers leverage peer-to-peer server traffic to interrupt remote patient monitoring devices. But a zero-trust framework doesn’t allow such a level of trust between servers, thereby reducing the ability of threats. Also, error from a user is significantly curtailed here.
Adopt Email Security Measures
Email security has always been a challenge for healthcare organizations. Cybercriminals target email because it contains valuable patient information and prescription data. Hence, a need for its protection against cyber-attacks. Different tools such as URL protection, attachment analysis, and multi-factor authentication protect email systems. One recent feature developed through multifactor authentication is the context-sensitive system that can apply several levels of security, which depend on factors like a user’s location when making a request. For instance, a medical practitioner trying to access a patient’s data from outside the hospital may need to verify their authentication through multiple methods before being granted access, whereas accessing from inside the hospital may require just a method.
Prioritize Cloud Security
Most healthcare organizations have adopted cloud computing services by using remote patient monitoring devices that are efficient, flexible to use, and relatively reduce cost. This has significantly made remote devices very popular globally. And this has been envisaged to increase in the coming years. As such, the cloud is always a target for cybercriminals. Thus, healthcare organizations need to strengthen their cloud security while paying attention to IoT cloud security. Also, vetting third-party cloud providers help protect patients’ health information.
Have an Incident Response Plan
In some rare cases, a healthcare organization can be breached even after strengthening its cyber-security. And how they respond to this incident matters. Therefore, as best practice, they must have an incident response plan in place to protect resources. They should also ensure regular review of their incident response plan. Healthcare institutions should also inform their clients about the danger of cyber attacks and encourage them to invest in cybersecurity tools. It may all depend on their budget and personal finances as well but nonetheless, they should choose a method to protect themselves.
There is an increase in cyberattacks on healthcare organizations due to their adoption of cloud transfer and storage of patient information. A breach in their security can be threatening to a patient’s life. Hence, a need to bolster cybersecurity in remote patient monitoring devices. Cybersecurity strengthening will not only help protect patients’ safety and privacy but will also ensure continuity in the delivery of high-quality care by averting interruptions that can negatively affect clinical outcomes.