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Safer Healthcare Infrastructure With IoT-Part I

by Pushp Kumar Dutt on January 8, 2019

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been one of the most impressive Industry 4.0 technologies till date. Revolutionizing the world around us, IoT devices provide innumerable advantages of healthcare from improving staff effectiveness, patient outcomes, and operational cost savings.

However, it also brings certain new security risks with it as any type of connected device can easily translate to a potential risk. Therefore, it is critical that healthcare institutions do everything in their possible control to prevent malicious attackers. For this, a multi-layered security approach is required for mitigating these and similar threats.

Step 1: Know your network inside out

One of the first and foremost things for you to remember is to have a clear and complete understanding about your IoT infrastructure. There is no denying the fact that it gets difficult at times to track of what is being connected to the network as it is no longer just information technology professionals who are making the connections.

An efficient and innovative network access control solution (preferably a role-based management and network segmentation) could be just the perfect starting place to combat this threat. One of the biggest advantages of these solutions is that they enable security and network managers to set policies around devices and ‘things’. This means that not everyone can just connect to the network. Additionally, different users may be granted different permissions to access when it comes to maintaining and managing these devices and networks.

Step 2: Users, things, and devices have predefined roles

It is important to review the wide range of devices that carry the potential and ability of transmitting data. Once this has been established, the next step is to contemplate how they can be used for creating innovative and integrated experiences.

In the segment of healthcare, monitoring of a patient can help in keeping track of critical signs like heart rate, without the medical practitioner or support staff physically attending the patient. This advantage can be of great benefit to detect a potential issue swiftly and take appropriate actions (for instance, alerting a nearby nurse) without the requirement for caregivers to be physically present at once.

No doubt, this use case is integral to efficient and secured running of healthcare institutions. Furthermore, it also easily fits into part of the IoT puzzle within the segment of healthcare by assisting those behind running the health institutions to make better use of the equipment they already possess.

Step 3: Using AI-Enabled Intelligence For Monitoring Changes

Security staff gets into a better position to take a holistic view of all devices and equipment by bringing all of them to a single management platform on the available networks. This also helps in bringing smarter security policies. The best part is that sophisticated technology can spot behavioral changes that happen with the manifestation of cyber-attacks.

In the second and last part of this two-part series, we will be reading about safer healthcare infrastructure and the Internet of Things.

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