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6 Reasons Why Medical Devices Need OT Security


Image Credits: Pexels

Cyberattacks are becoming more frequent and targeting critical infrastructure (CI). These infrastructures include oil and gas, maritime, healthcare and airports. They are all crucial for the smooth running of society.

Thus, for these sectors to work well without the fear of attacks, they need operational technology (OT) security. OT and IT may seem the same, but they differ. The difference is that IT safeguards data, while OT protects equipment and devices.

Like the health sector, which uses big devices for medical care, OT security is the best for them. But since the merging of OT and IT, they have produced the best result. Hence let’s look at what we need to know about OT security and its importance in the health sector.

What is OT security?

OT security monitors, detect, and control changes to devices, processes, and events. It deals with both the hardware and software stack. 

It protects Industrial Systems and networks from cyber-attacks. It also protects C.I. like power plants, transit networks, healthcare, water plants, etc.

Here are vital parts of OT security that one should look out for when checking with OT security vendors.

Component of OT Security

A reliable OT security framework should be scalable and adaptable. This means that every part of an OT environment must be top-notch. OT security measures ICS and SCADA from hardware groups to each device and sensor.

Industrial Control Systems (ICS). ICS refers to the physical operations of all devices as they cooperate. But OT refers to an operational industrial facility’s hardware and software. Machine performance and employee safety take priority in ICS security.

Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA). SCADA, as its name suggests, takes up the data part of OT. SCADA, a subset of ICS, is a centralized control hub that enables a manager to track down alarms. It also changes hardware settings in real time and checks the state of the equipment.

Why is OT security vital for Medical Devices?

Medical devices are vital in the health sector. As a result, it makes them an easy target for cyberattacks. So, enlisting cybersecurity industries to help secure them is crucial. Here are some reasons.

1. For Productivity

The number of OT devices used in healthcare and the life sciences has increased. Thus making operational technology security more crucial than ever. For example, patient results depend on uninterrupted health monitoring in the healthcare sector. 

Strong OT security is also needed in smart buildings that use wireless devices. It tracks and manages systems like heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. With digital technology, industries now operate at a higher level of cyber threats. And the healthcare sector is no exception. 

The fourth industrial revolution comes with great potential for invention. But it also introduces new dangers and difficulties. And the cyber medical scene of today may make this the clearest. 

As such, there must be tight OT security measures to curb these difficulties. This is because they hamper the growth and productivity of healthcare workers. 

2. To prevent Hacking

Healthcare IT experts need help keeping tight security. This is due to the huge number of medical devices, many of which have different features and makers. 

Medical devices often have a lot of patient data, serving as easy access points for hackers. But, again, this is because the servers contain a lot of data. 

There must be a way to lessen the costs and harm caused by unauthorized access. So the health sector must keep these entry points updated and secure with OT security.

3. To Safeguard Patients’ Data

Healthcare firms generate, store, and transfer large volumes of sensitive patient data. So it makes their networks and associated devices great targets for cyberattacks. 

IBM Security’s annual study shows that healthcare has the highest industry-average data breach cost at $7.13 million. The average cost of a data breach worldwide in 2020 was $3.86 million.

Therefore, OT security gives you a system to detect, track, and control devices. So healthcare providers can reduce their risks of breaches, ransomware, and non-compliance.

4. For Swift Running of Devices

Limiting random changes and ensuring in-depth testing of any change are some criteria to reduce risk in the making of medical devices. One of the critical areas of cyber security is monitoring and cutting out barred changes. 

Thus adequate protection requires regular updates and changes to systems. This involves updating the antivirus, installing security patches, and replacing control hardware. But this is an ordered change as well as a technological one. 

A viable OT security system in a medical facility helps run medical devices faster. For this reason, it is crucial for healthcare experts to adopt OT security best practices.

5. To Save Cost

Even though the health sector is for saving lives, people earn a living from working there. Hence, saving costs and making a gain is vital.

But when bad events like cyberattacks happen, it brings extra cost. This is because getting it fixed and clearing all bugs will cost more money. Not to mention how much ransom cybercriminals may demand should they succeed in breaching your system.

So to save cost, getting an OT security vendor to give the best form of OT security is crucial. Also, it protects your devices from any malfunction that will lead to repair or getting a new one. And guess what? That will also save you money.

Investing in an OT security solution will always need a capital outlay. But the truth is that it has many benefits in the long run. So those in the health sector must now take all precautions to lower risk and defend themselves. An OT security financing often serves as a vital initial step toward achieving this.

Image Credits: Pexels

6. To Save Lives

Cyberattacks on medical devices can be dangerous to health. You may be wondering how or why that could be. But a medical device on a critical patient can malfunction due to a cyberattack. If the hospital cannot fix it in due time, this can lead to that patient’s death.

As such, that can bring a bad name to your hospital and also make you lose money. So to ensure that does not happen, you must secure your devices.

Bottom Line

OT security is crucial for every device linked to the internet. You do not want to fall for any cyberattacks or events that will disrupt your medical devices.

So to save costs and lives, protect patient data, prevent hacking, and ensure effective service delivery, one has to put OT security in place. 

This will help you build a facility free from attacks and threats. Hence you can get the best from what you do, free from fear and loss.

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