Written by Billy Moran
The request from a customer was relatively simple: out-of-band access to connect through Uplogix to a medical device to securely move data from the machine to a database. While it might not be the most exciting application of Uplogix out-of-band management capabilities, the request is indicative of a key issue the healthcare industry is struggling with - moving from traditional medical devices to internet-enabled medical devices.
In a study Cynerio, maker of a healthcare IoT security platform, found that more than half (53%) of IoT and IoMT (internet of medical things) devices contain critical security risks in healthcare applications. The company analyzed devices from more than 300 hospitals in the US.
Security challenges in IoT devices are nothing new, but risks in medical devices go far beyond HIPAA violations and data theft. Healthcare devices literally provide lifesaving services for patients. For example, the report found that IV pumps make up 38% of a hospital's IoT footprint and 73% of the pumps have at least one vulnerability that can jeopardize patient safety, data confidentiality, or service ability if targeted by a bad actor.
Patching software on healthcare devices is a challenge also because many are in operation 24/7 and interruptions could have serious consequences for patient safety as well as hospital workflows.
One solution for these challenges in healthcare networks is to move management traffic for medical devices to an out-of-band communications path that is separate from the operational traffic path. This procedure was outlined by the National Security Agency (NSA) in a publication that provided guidelines for using out-of-band management to create a framework that improves network security by segmenting management traffic from operational traffic.
By ensuring that management traffic only comes from the out-of-band communications path, compromised user devices or malicious network traffic is prevented from impacting network operations and compromising network infrastructure.
When it comes to isolating network management traffic from operational traffic, Uplogix is really built for the task. That explains why we field customer questions like how to securely connect out-of-band to a medical device. And devices needing this type of a connection aren't limited to healthcare -- contact Uplogix with your connectivity challenge today!