Ascension IT exec: 'Treat IoT security with respect it deserves' – Healthcare IT News

January 5, 2017 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Uncategorized

The Internet of Things holds great promise for the healthcare industry: The ability to care for patients in a preferred setting, helping the elderly live at home longer, getting in-patients out faster and empowering people to take better care of themselves, said Ascension Information Services Senior Director of IT Eric Miller.

But with great potential, comes great risk.

One glaringly obvious risk is security – made apparent with the attack that took down a large portion of the internet, Miller explained.

“When you talk about devices used to provide healthcare, the scary consideration is what happens if a medical device is hacked?” said Miller. “And what happens if the intruder messes with dosing or the data being provided to the physician?”

With medical devices, there were things considered IoT before it was a buzzword. These were built before considerations for security, he stressed. Some of those medical devices are vulnerable due to older technology.

“We have to make sure we’re treating security with the respect it deserves in healthcare,” he said.

But Miller remains confident that the increase of IoT will make mobile health better – and less invasive. He sees a future where healthcare is accessible for all, using IT advances like sensors.

To get there, healthcare organizations need to work on implementing the tools to improve the speed of provisions. However, Miller said that IT leaders must provide extra security – without sacrificing the speed of the technology.

A big challenge to consider is a way to provide security in a network setting that supports IoT and other connected devices. Miller added that it also needs to be done in a fast, scalable manner that still secure. Organizations need to plan the logical steps to take to reduce risk from the technology side.

The healthcare industry has grown tremendously over the last 15 years, including the move to EHRs and interconnecting all kinds of systems to provide better and more personalized care, Miller said. “But it’s added a lot of complexity within the environment; trying to keep up with that complexity and change has been difficult.”

The key is trying to find the solutions to deal with these challenges that will reduce the complexity, like adding automation. Miller said this will help organizations keep up with change – and still meet the needs of the organization.

Miller will present these views during the session “Mitigating Cybersecurity Risk with Hyper-Segmentation,” Feb. 20, 2017 at 1:30 – 2:30 EST in Hall F4.

HIMSS17 runs from Feb. 19 to 23, 2017, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. 

This article is part of our ongoing coverage of HIMSS17. Visit Destination HIMSS17 for previews, reporting live from the show floor and after the conference.

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