Managing the Risks of Smart and IoT Devices in Healthcare

Managing the Risks of Smart and IoT Devices in Healthcare

IoT (or “Internet of Things”) devices are everywhere. Billions of physical devices connect to the internet now, from wearables (like step counters or exercise trackers) to smart light bulbs, doorbells, cars and even airplanes. During the dawn of inexpensive processors and WiFi, IoT devices began with RFID chips added to expensive items to track them in the event they were lost or stolen. That technology has advanced rapidly, allowing consumers to outfit nearly every aspect of their lives with “smart” devices.

The term “Internet of Things” applies to devices that wouldn’t traditionally be connect to the internet. PCs, smartphones and laptops don’t fall in this category, of course, but thermostats, light bulbs and ovens that you can control from your phone or small keychain trackers (to help you find your keys) do. The International Data Corporation (IDC), a global intelligence and advisory provider, puts worldwide IoT spending at $772 billion in 2018, and predicts it to hit $1 trillion in 2020.

IoT devices are everywhere, but what does this have to do with healthcare? These devices can both help patients, and cause security risks. What do healthcare clients need to know to help protect themselves from these risks?

  • IoT devices can do almost anything. From dispensing medication to tracking vitals to monitoring blood pressure, IoT devices can be a blessing for patients, doctors and other healthcare providers.
  • IoT devices will “outlive” the average laptop. The “useful life expectancy” of a laptop or a PC is an average of four years, whereas the life of an IoT device will be about 15 years or more. This means it will stay on the network longer, and as cybersecurity concerns evolve and become more complicated, security patches for devices may not evolve and change with them.
  • The permissions for all IoT devices on a network should be monitored on a regular basis. IoT devices like thermostats and coffee pots were built for use on a home network, not for more complicated use like a healthcare system. This means their security may be prone to leaks or hacking, and should be limited or monitored on a healthcare network.
  • A lot of devices were not designed to handle cybersecurity risks today. Healthcare organizations need to ensure that their IT team is prepared to protect their network from infected IoT devices. Additionally, cyber security training for all employees is crucial to ensuring that the entire organization understands cybersecurity risk, procedures and precautions.

With each new piece of technology added to a network, a new risk is added. In the healthcare industry, patient data is extremely sensitive and organizations have a duty to protect that data to their best ability. Make sure your clients know what the risks are when using IoT devices and that they are able to prepare themselves to take on those risks.

About Connected Risk Solutions

At Connected Risk Solutions, we use our expertise and experience to provide insurance information and programs to those who serve long-term care and senior living facilities. Since 2007, we’ve been offering insurance and risk management plans designed to help our agents give their clients the ability to achieve continued growth while simultaneously protecting against loss, containing costs and increasing profitability. To learn more, contact us at (847) 832-9100.

About Connected Risk Solutions

At Connected Risk Solutions, we provide our agent partners with bold solutions for comprehensive insurance and risk management that are unmatched in the industry. We have market connections and collective decades of industry experience, including deep specialization in healthcare liability and managed care E&O, cyber and tech liability, management and professional liability, as well as captive management and risk management. We strive to develop creative solutions no other wholesaler can match and to help our agent partners give their clients the ability to achieve continued growth while simultaneously protecting against loss.

Our specialists, located in offices throughout the country, are responsive and engaged. To learn more, connect with us.

Table of Contents

Related Posts:
insurance for nursing homes
The Essential Role of Insurance for Nursing Homes
Nursing homes are vital in providing care and support for our aging population. The complexities of healthcare...
data protection in healthcare
Data Protection Strategies for Healthcare Providers
Healthcare data, which includes a wide range of patient information, is the lifeblood of the medical...
managed care
Insights Into the Challenges of Managed Care
The healthcare ecosystem relies on managed care organizations to coordinate the delivery of healthcare...