How Remote Patient Monitoring Creates Security Threats
Securing data flow is essential for new technologies in a world of cybercrime and security. The potential value of patient data to criminals is significant in today’s healthcare industries.
Even before the COVID-19 crisis, remote patient monitoring was widespread. As clinicians increasingly use technology to support patients’ health and wellness and changes to Medicare CPT codes in 2020, RPM has grown into one of the most lucrative Medicare care management programs.
Between 2015 and 2022, the remote patient monitoring market’s CAGR is anticipated to increase by 13%. However, the quick adoption of telehealth is not without security threats. Security issues must be carefully evaluated, even though they may not outweigh telehealth’s enormous advantages to patients and clinicians.
What Is Remote Patient Monitoring?
Patient monitoring is placing a device on an individual’s body to monitor their vital signs and diagnose or treat medical conditions.
Remote patient monitoring enables patients to be monitored in a remote location away from the hospital, clinic, or another healthcare facility. This can be done using various devices, including smartphones, tablets, and computers.
Remote patient monitoring is becoming more popular as it provides the following:
- Increased convenience for the patient
- Reduced stress on the healthcare team by allowing them to focus on other aspects of treatment rather than dealing with monitoring equipment
- Improved patient outcomes with fewer visits to the hospital emergency room
Examples of Remote Patient Monitoring Technology
RPM technology can include everything from mobile medical equipment to websites that let users enter their data. Several instances include:
- People living with Diabetes can use glucose meters.
- Blood pressure or heart rate monitoring.
- Remote monitoring and treatment for infertility
- Drug abuse patients may benefit from at-home exams to help them stay accountable and on track with their objectives.
- Programs for tracking diet or calorie intake.
Security Threats to Remote Patient Monitoring
Here are major security threats to remote patient monitoring:
Credential escalation is one of the most common threats to remote patient monitoring. This is because it allows attackers to access devices and systems they would not otherwise have access to, like networked printers and medical devices. It also allows attackers to steal data or turn off your monitoring system.
Insecure Ecosystem Interfaces
Many systems that support remote patient monitoring have an interface that allows patients and doctors to control them. These interfaces often use web technology to interact with their users. Still, they also have access to other systems connected via different protocols like UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) or RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol). These protocols are designed for local networks; they cannot be used on a public network without some proxy.
Phishing is a social engineering method involving sending an email or text message to an unsuspecting user, pretending to be from the bank or other company they frequent.
Many remote patient monitoring systems have a single point of failure. The system administrator is responsible for ensuring that the backup system is functioning correctly and that it’s up to date with any security patches.
If the system fails, an attacker can take over your RPM system. This can be done by sending out phony emails or fake phone calls, tricking you into clicking on malicious links in those emails or calls. Once inside the network, an attacker could access sensitive information about patients and their medical records.
All the patient monitoring devices used in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities have been susceptible to malicious software attacks. The most common cause for this is outdated software versions that do not provide adequate protection from hackers or cybercriminals.
These devices are still vulnerable because they do not have enough security measures to protect them from hackers and cybercriminals. Some hospitals have decided to upgrade their systems to prevent these attacks.
The ransomware attack on Remote Patient Monitoring is a new trend in the digital world. This attack will most likely occur in small and medium-sized businesses focusing primarily on their services and products.
The primary purpose of this attack is to steal vital information or resources from companies or individuals so they can use them later for their benefit.
Ransomware attacks usually target companies with confidential files on their computers and servers because they are easy to access. People who want to get these files will pay money for them, either directly or indirectly.
How to Protect Remote Patient Monitoring?
The remote patient monitoring industry is proliferating, and so are the attacks on it. Here are some steps to protect your business from potential threats.
Keeping Technology Updated
Remote patient monitoring systems contain many components, including cameras, sensors, and software. These systems must be kept up-to-date with the latest security patches and updates. This is especially important if you use a third-party vendor to provide your network security solution.
Protecting the Cloud Environment
The cloud environment can be vulnerable to cyberattacks, especially regarding HIPAA-compliant healthcare information, usually stored in the cloud. To protect your data from being stolen by hackers or other malicious actors, consider using a cloud storage provider specifically designed for healthcare applications – such as a cloud storage provider built for healthcare settings like yours.
Embracing a Zero-Trust Approach
A zero-trust approach means that all interactions between an organization’s devices and its users should be trusted automatically without requiring any permissions or confirmation from human users. This helps minimize the possible points of failure in organizations’ networks and reduces the risk for employees who unknowingly share sensitive information.
While monitoring a patient’s health remotely does seem like a great idea, especially for the chronically ill who may have trouble leaving their homes, remote monitoring also introduces new security threats into the healthcare industry. No system is perfect without precautions and security measures. Healthcare organizations must be aware of these new vulnerabilities, from patients’ privacy to the dangers of cyber hacking and compromising patient information.
With the right partner, you can feel confident that your data stays protected. Our team is dedicated to keeping your data safe and secure, so you can focus on providing the best care possible.
With the Protected Harbor team’s vast experience and proven track record, you can trust that your data is in good hands. With years of experience delivering secure IT, and Cloud solutions in line with industry standards and best practices, Protected Harbor professionals pay close attention to the vulnerability of remote monitoring solutions.
We work with all types of providers, from small to large, to protect your data, reduce risk, and keep your organization secure. Our team of experts will work with you to create a customized solution that meets your company’s requirements. Our cybersecurity solutions are reliable and scalable to fit your organization’s needs.
Feel free to contact our experts if you wish to begin developing a hack-proof medical device or if you wish to schedule an IT audit.