SecurityBrief Asia logo
Asia's leading source of cybersecurity and cyber-attack news
Story image

Connected medical devices pose serious security risks for healthcare firms

FYI, this story is more than a year old

Healthcare organisations around the world may be using medical devices that come with serious cybersecurity risks, according to research coming from some US hospitals and clinics.

That research suggests that network traffic passing through internet-connected medical devices lack real-time insights.

Combined with a lack of solutions to secure those devices and no clear industry reports as to how to mitigate those risks, the study from Zingbox says there are many hurdles ahead for healthcare providers.

The most common connected medical devices include infusion pumps (deployed in 46% of surveyed healthcare firms), imaging systems, patient monitors and point-of-care analysers.

Other common connected devices include ECG machines, patient tracking, nurse call systems and medical printers.

Imaging systems have the most number of network applications at an average of seven per device – at least three of these are used for communications outside an organization.

Most other devices also include applications that communicate with other devices and servers within an organization's network.

Security risks vary from outdated software or operating systems to rogue applications, unpatched firmware, unprotected or weak passwords, obsolete applications, risky internet sites and user practice issues.

“Imaging systems have the most security issues. They account for 51% of all security issues across tens of thousands devices included in this study. Several characteristics of imaging systems attribute to it being the most risky device in an organization's inventory.

“The distributed nature of imaging systems with devices, servers and various nodes interconnected, also contributes to many security issues. As noted earlier, imaging systems also house the most number of network applications per device.

Virtual LANs (VLANs) are common ways of identifying and locating devices on the network as part of a micro-segmentation strategy to limit lateral infection.

88% of hospitals in this case have fewer than 20 VLANs containing medical devices – Zingbox says this is far too few VLANs to support any micro-segmentation strategy.

Only 2% of organizations have more than 100% VLANs – a clue that there may be over-segmentation in some networks.

“Note the void between these two extremes. We expect more and more organizations to fill in this area as they implement tools and processes to gain additional visibility into the device context and use it for onboarding.

VLANs may not even be used for protecting medical devices, the research states. PCs take up 43% of VLAN monitoring; followed by medical devices themselves (23%), printers, tracking systems, IP phones, network equipment, smartphones and tablets, and surveillance cameras.

“Such wide range of devices found in medical VLANs promote cross contamination and lateral movement of infections. The first course of action organizations should take is to remove PCs from their medical VLANs, followed by tablets, and then other non-medical IoT devices such as surveillance cameras and IP Phones.

“The non-medical IoT devices should be moved to other non-medical VLANs. Of course, in order to implement these changes, organizations must first gain visibility into their VLANs and be able to accurately identify devices.

The report recommends three strategies for managing connected medical devices:

Real-time visibility into device deployment and inventory – Most healthcare providers lack the visibility into the devices deployed in their network and the network topology themselves. The first step to formulating an effective strategy is to base it on an accurate inventory of devices and network configurations.

Control rogue application and communications – Inappropriate or unauthorized use of applications account for a large portion of security issues identified across connected medical devices. Applying contextual enforcement policies based on the individual device types can greatly reduce the exposure to rogue applications and lateral movement of infection due to inappropriate use.

Develop strategies for top vulnerabilities and risks – No two healthcare organizations are alike. Hence, every organization should assess their deployment and identify their biggest vulnerabilities and risks. They should then prioritize their action plans starting with their biggest exposure.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Cybersecurity
Continuous attack attempts discovered on Atlassian Confluence zero day
Following a coordinated disclosure of a zero-day vulnerability by Volexity in Atlassian Confluence, attackers went wild to exploit it.
Story image
Ransomware
Commonwealth tackling rising cybercrime threat in Asia
Ransomware, identity theft, and virtual security attacks identified as growing threats to security and economic growth.
Story image
Malware
Mandiant uncovers malware ecosystem deployed on VMware hypervisors and guest systems
Mandiant research has uncovered a novel malware ecosystem that was found deployed on VMware hypervisors and guest systems by an advanced and suspected China nexus threat actor.
Story image
Microsoft
Yubico research finds concerning trends around authentication security practices
A new global survey from Yubico has found that 59% of employees still rely on usernames and passwords as the primary method to authenticate their accounts.
Story image
Apple
Jamf shows intent to acquire mobile security firm ZecOps
This acquisition positions Jamf to help IT and security teams strengthen their organisation’s mobile security posture.
Story image
Work from home
Jamf showcases new products to simplify and secure work
At the 13th annual Jamf Nation User Conference, the company shared how its continuous product innovation is helping organisations succeed with Apple.
Story image
Network Management
Fortinet introduces enhanced AIOps across its gateways
FortiAIOps builds on Fortinet's rich history of developing artificial intelligence to deliver actionable network insights for self-optimising management.
Story image
Kaspersky
Cybersecurity loopholes prevalent in South East Asia
In terms of the share of vulnerabilities with publicly available exploits, three countries out of top five are located in Southeast Asia.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Macroeconomic headwinds driving security up priority list
Current macroeconomic headwinds are driving security up enterprise’s priority list and reshaping the hardware Security Module market.
Story image
Cybersecurity
De-risking the innovation cycle – a modern, real-time approach to security
Many organisations see cybersecurity as an inhibitor of innovation, with burdensome protection measures standing in the way of progress and speed.
Story image
Threat intelligence
Trellix advances threat intelligence with new research centre
Trellix has announced the establishment of the Trellix Advanced Research Center to advance global threat intelligence.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Employees unsure who to go to to report security incident
A new study shows more than 20% of the untrained global workforce do not know who to contact during a security breach.
Story image
Cloud
How modern IT architectures are moving beyond network visibility
Dealing with multiple cloud providers makes it difficult to identify security threats and performance bottlenecks and troubleshoot issues.
Story image
Phishing
Vectra Protect team finds Microsoft Teams vulnerability
The Vectra Protect team identified a post-exploitation opportunity in August, allowing malicious actors to steal valid user credentials from Microsoft Teams.
Story image
Legacy
Trellix enables greater cyber resiliency with extended XDR platform
"Legacy SIEM technology has failed to modernise security operations. We are confident Trellix XDR fills this critical gap.”
Aws Marketplace
Learn how to implement a backup and recovery plan for a new generation of Kubernetes-based modern applications
Link image
Story image
Cloud Security
75% of AU companies had cloud security incident in past year
According to new Venafi research, complexity is due to increase, as companies plan to host more applications in the cloud.
Story image
Data Protection
Cloudflare brings Data Localisation Suite to more APAC businesses
This allows any business in these countries to service their data locally while benefiting from the speed, security, and scalability of Cloudflare’s global network.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Fortinet advances AIOps to aid the hybrid workforce
"We’re continuing our commitment to AI innovation by delivering AIOps capabilities across our robust portfolio of enterprise networking technology."
Story image
Data Protection
99% of security experts unhappy with tokenisation investment
Cybersecurity experts are looking for a solution that provides the strength of tokenisation while removing the friction that has accompanied it in the past.
AWS Marketplace
Whitepaper: A practical guide for mitigating risk in today’s modern applications
Link image
Story image
Mobile Device Management
How to easily scale your mobile workforce and devices for the peak shopping season
Retailers are under constant pressure to streamline processes and become more efficient while looking for ways to improve customer satisfaction levels.
Story image
IT Training
Six ways to transform your cybersecurity training and influence lasting change
If the goal is to win hearts and minds, formal awareness training can fall short and often doesn’t inspire people to care.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Ransomware attacks continue to increase, report finds
Nearly a quarter of businesses have suffered a ransomware attack, with a fifth occurring in the past 12 months.
Story image
Ransomware
Delinea updates DevOps security, remote access more seamless
New enhancements include development support on the most recent Mac computers and improved secrets' management usability through automation.
Story image
Malware
Kaspersky uncovers new malicious malware NullMixer
Kaspersky researchers have uncovered a new malware stealing users credentials, address, credit card data, cryptocurrencies, and accounts.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Ordr improves security and management of connected devices
It has implemented more than 80 integrations within the Ordr Data Lake while adding security enhancements to accelerate zero trust segmentation.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
Hybrid cloud security driving need for deep observability
Gigamon is bringing application and network-level intelligence together to help network, security, and cloud IT operations teams eliminate security blind spots.
Story image
Malware
Cybereason delivers nation-state level of protection to enterprises
Cybereason has announced new advancements in Cybereason NGAV that deliver nation-state level protection for organisations of all sizes.
Story image
Malware
Decrease in malware volume, but surge in encrypted malware
The Q2 Internet Security Report found office exploits continue to spread more than any other category of malware.
Story image
Edge Security
Security practices for modernising the “spaghetti” of on-premises IT
Many organisations are wondering how to securely modernise their workload, often made up of a “spaghetti” of on-premises applications and management consoles.
Story image
Software-as-a-Service
Varonis adds secrets discovery to data classification
The data security firm announces enhancements that detect and remediate overexposed private keys, encryption certificates, API keys, and authentication tokens.
Story image
Enterprise
Delinea shares the importance of PAM, partners and security for modern enterprise
Identity-based security is becoming a crucial tool for modern enterprises as they continue to adapt to different working environments.
Story image
Software-as-a-Service
Enterprises yet to fully commit to cybersecurity - CompTIA
“Digital transformation driven by cloud and mobile adoption requires a new strategic approach to cybersecurity, but this poses significant challenges."
Story image
Cybersecurity
Best practices for industrial cyber resilience
Operational technology (OT) security is gaining more attention than ever before, but sufficient understanding of what it takes to prevent breaches is still lacking amongst many organisations.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Test your API Security with Infinite API Scanner
The effectiveness of API scanning technology can mean the difference between successful and unsuccessful programming outcomes, and often enterprises and IT leaders struggle to get it right.
Story image
Firewall
Forrester names Akamai as web application firewall leader
"We continually monitor and improve our capabilities to defend customers from new threats, while enabling customers to protect evolving attack surfaces."
Story image
Virtual Private Network
95% of organisation rely on VPN as threats continue - report
There is a growing number of VPN-specific security threats and a need for Zero Trust security architecture in enterprise-level organisations.
Story image
Secure Code Warrior
Secure Code Warrior announces Coding Labs innovation
Coding Labs mechanisms allow developers to move from learning to applying secure coding knowledge more efficiently, leading to fewer code vulnerabilities.
Story image
Cybersecurity
StackHawk launches deeper API security test coverage
Expansion of test coverage includes custom scan discovery, custom test scripts and custom test data for REST APIs.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from SearchInform
Val Novoselova joins us today to to discuss new trends in the information security space, and how SearchInform is adapting to some of the new trends we are seeing.