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Apr 14, 2023

Taking Inventory of Your Networks for Medical Device Security

As the healthcare industry becomes increasingly connected, the number of devices attached to hospital networks is also increasing, putting IT and security leaders under significant pressure. To protect these networks, taking inventory is crucial. In a recent webinar titled Taking a Holistic Approach to Your Connected Devices Security Program, I had the opportunity to discuss this topic with a panel of experts.

During the webinar, we all agreed that having an accurate and up-to-date inventory of assets is essential for maintaining a structured security program that employs tools and governance to proactively address device security. The sheer number and variety of devices that can attach to networks, sometimes without IT knowledge, make it crucial to maintain a proper inventory. This includes not only computers and bedside devices, but also wearables, patient experience devices such as digital signage, smart TVs, IP cameras, and more. Even building management systems such as humidity and pressure sensors and HVAC controls in operating rooms must be included, as the interruption of any of these devices can significantly impact the ability to deliver care.

Without proper visibility, it is impossible to safeguard patients and their data. The right tools and organizational culture are critical in protecting against potential threats. Armis provides real-time protection that enables users to secure all assets within the environment. A platform that can do real-time discovery is necessary so that when a device is added to the network, it can be quickly identified, cataloged, assigned a risk score, and any vulnerabilities relating to its hardware, firmware, or software can be alerted on. Its communications can also be analyzed for indicators of attack or compromise and automatically secured if it poses a risk to patient care.

By adopting this approach, healthcare IT security teams, already stretched thin, can shift from a reactive to a proactive state, focusing resources on the most critical tasks.

Every security framework begins with identifying every device connected and communicating on your network. Having a complete, accurate, and up-to-date inventory of known and unknown assets is essential for a structured security program. Tools, governance, and organizational culture are paramount in establishing a proactive approach to device security. Having a risk classification strategy and protocols in place will go a long way in prioritizing risks and reducing alert fatigue.

Watch the full webinar: Taking a Holistic Approach to Your Connected Devices Security Program. 

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