Security company Armis has released new research identifying the top connected medical and IoT devices that are exposed to malicious activity in clinical environments. Data analyzed from the Armis Asset Intelligence and Security Platform, which tracks over 3 billion assets, found nurse call systems to be the riskiest IoMT device, followed by infusion pumps and medication dispensing systems. When looking at IoT devices, IP cameras, printers, and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) devices are topping the list.
By 2026 smart hospitals are expected to deploy over 7 million IoMT devices, doubling the amount from 2021. Medical and non-medical devices are increasingly connected, automatically feeding patient data from monitoring devices into electronic records. These connections and communications within a medical environment help improve patient care but also make it increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks, which could result in the interruption of patient care.
Upon a comprehensive analysis of the data from all connected medical and IoT devices on the Armis Asset Intelligence and Security Platform, several noteworthy conclusions can be drawn:
- Nurse call systems are the riskiest connected medical device, with 39% of them having critical severity unpatched Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) and almost half (48%) having unpatched CVEs.
- Infusion pumps are second, with 27% having critical severity unpatched CVEs and 30% having unpatched CVEs.
- Medication dispensing systems are in third place, with 4% having critical severity unpatched CVEs, but 86% having unpatched CVEs. Moreover, 32% run on unsupported Windows versions.
- Almost 1 in 5 (19%) connected medical devices are running unsupported OS versions.
- More than half of IP cameras we monitored in clinical environments have critical severity unpatched CVEs (56%) and unpatched CVEs (59%), making it the riskiest IoT device.
- Printers are the second riskiest IoT device in clinical environments, with 37% having unpatched CVEs, and 30% having critical severity unpatched CVEs.
- VoIP devices are in third place. Although 53% of them have unpatched CVEs, only 2% have critical severity unpatched CVEs.
“These numbers are a strong indicator of the challenges faced by healthcare organizations globally. Advances in technology are essential to improve the speed and quality of care delivery as the industry is challenged with a shortage of care providers, but with increasingly connected care comes a bigger attack surface,” says Mohammad Waqas, principal solutions architect for healthcare at Armis. “Protecting every type of connected device, medical, IoT, even the building management systems, with full visibility and continuous contextualized monitoring is a key element to ensuring patient safety.”
Armis secures all medical assets and patient care environments in some of the largest healthcare delivery organizations around the world.
“Armis appeared to be a good alternative for us because it immediately provided us with visibility into what devices were plugging into the network. It shows us how they are interacting with each other, creates alerts based on observed behavior, and enforces firewall rules based on those alerts,” says Brian Schultz, director of network operations and security at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital.
“Metrics and accountability are key to understanding how to protect the hospital’s network, and Armis has a major role in making the relevant data available to us in an easy-to-access manner,” says Michael Connolly, MD, chief information officer of Mater Misericordiae University Hospital. “It has definitely filled in the gaps in our security arsenal by uncovering risks we never knew about previously. At first, I thought Armis was a nice-to-have, but now it’s become an integral part of our cyber defense.”