Health Prognosis on the Security of IoMT Devices? Not Good

Dark Reading

Nicole Ferraro

As COVID-19 continues to turn the world upside down, hospitals are facing unprecedented challenges: Do we have enough staff to treat the influx of patients? Are there enough beds and equipment for those patients? Will patients' lives be threatened by hackers holding the medical devices keeping them alive for ransom?

While that last concern is not unique to the COVID-19 crisis, it's certainly of heightened risk given that hospitals and emergency rooms have been overwhelmed with a massive influx of patients, resulting in even more patient-connected devices going online. While important, every piece of connected medical equipment, referred to as the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), provides an easy on-ramp for hackers to bring a hospital to its knees.

"We are overdependent on undependable things," says Joshua Corman, former member of the HHS Cybersecurity Task Force under the Obama administration, and co-founder of I Am The Cavalry, a grassroots group focused on the intersection of computer security and public safety. "On the whole, these medical advances are improving lives, making care more available, and curing ailments that haven't been cured before. But I want the trust placed upon those innovations to be worthy of that trust. It's not right now."

The problems with IoMT are, essentially, threefold, with some deeper complications sprinkled throughout: One, the devices tend to...

Get the Morning Update

Thanks for subscribing!