Connected medical devices have experienced a significant growth surge over the last several years. Recent statistics indicate that a single hospital room may hold as many as 15-20 devices at any given moment, proving their value as an integral part of the patient care experience. The latest generation of medical devices, such as blood pressure monitors, electrocardiogram infusion pumps, and a wide range of other essential digital tools offer the convenience of networked health monitoring capability, improved efficiency, and reduced errors in treatments. 

How to Ensure Your Organization’s Medical Security Is Prepared

Are Medical Devices Putting Your Healthcare Facility at Risk?

Like all connected digital systems, medical devices have always posed a potential network security threat. However, the rampant expansion across every specialty has increased cybersecurity risk at healthcare organizations across the country. Not only can a medical device cyber attack compromise the integrity of your IT network, but a data breach can also impact profits and patient trust. A single cybersecurity lapse at a healthcare organization can incur significant financial penalties as well as negatively impact a facility’s brand and consumer reputation.

To enhance medical devices security for your health care organization, it’s critical to assess your organization’s readiness to prevent a cyber attack and continuously prioritize data loss prevention. A cohesive assessment includes:

Evaluate Vulnerability Of Current Medical Devices 

The first step in assessing your facility’s cybersecurity preparedness starts with evaluating all of the existing medical devices already in use throughout the organization. Creating a detailed inventory of all utilized tools helps you identify the scope of the project and ensures that your IT team understands the role they play in remediation activities. Conducting a medical devices vulnerability assessment forms a foundation for creating a proactive information security program. This preventative measure helps an organization go beyond mere reactive measures, allowing your IT department to actively identify and understand any potential risks, thereby increasing your team’s readiness to both recognize and prevent any imminent threats and vulnerabilities before they infiltrate your systems.

Form a Strategy to Manage Cybersecurity Threats

Developing policies, practices, and protocols to deal with cyber threats on your medical devices are other vital steps to maintain consistent network security. A detailed plan helps healthcare providers establish a disciplined and actionable system to protect the organization’s devices. Also, creating a thorough strategy that aligns various other components of the organization can support better patient outcomes across the facility. An effective plan should include stakeholder response to a data breach, documented escalation procedures, and consistent awareness training throughout the healthcare facility to ensure that all personnel members have the resources needed to uphold network security on each medical device at all times. 

Regular Devices Analysis and Monitoring

Consistent, thorough analysis and interpretation of healthcare information is another crucial way of increasing and sustaining your organization’s readiness to prevent a data breach. Cyber-attacks are constantly evolving and becoming more complex. Routine device analysis and monitoring help your organization understand potential opportunities, weaknesses, strengths, and barriers to performance. Device analysis can also help your organization make informed and strategic corporate decisions, providing invaluable insight on which devices pose a higher risk and threat compared to other available products. Regular monitoring of medical devices also enhances the readiness of your organization by enabling action to be taken promptly before more significant damages are incurred.