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Study: Health Care IT Teams Ignoring IoT Security Risks

IoT Security

A new study shows that the majority of health-care IT departments believe their traditional security devices can successfully protect their Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

ZingBox announced the results of an IT professional survey, which found that more than 90 percent of IT networks in health-care environments use IoT devices. However, more than seven in 10 (70 percent) of those respondents said their solutions typically employed to secure their servers and laptops will work with the IoT devices.

ZingBox's May Wang

ZingBox’s May Wang

ZingBox is critical of that belief.

“The results of the survey were sobering in terms of the risks the health-care community faces,” ZingBox CTO and co-founder May Wang said. “This is a tremendous opportunity to raise awareness of health-care 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.”

ZingBox CEO Xu Zou says the health-care industry is in a “state of confusion” about how to protect their IoT-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,” Zou said. “IoT technology presents special challenges to a health-care 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.”

The survey also concluded that three in four (76 percent) people in charge of IT decisions in health care feel confident in the security of all of their network devices. Zou told Dark Reading that it’s normal to see 10 to 15 IoT devices attached to a single hospital bed.

It’s worth noting that ZingBox provides security solutions and thus carries some bias, but plenty of other market research indicates the lack of knowledge businesses have about IoT security. One study showed a significant awareness of the risks but more significant lack of knowledge of how to deal with the problems.

MarketsandMarkets recently predicted the IoT security market to grow 34 percent annually over the next seven years.


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