Is Healthcare ready for IoT?

The Internet of Things has been among the more widely discussed and hyped trends in corporate computing throughout the past few years, and is only continuing to gain steam given the explosion of new devices entering the market. Considering the fact that health care firms have thus far struggled to get a handle on enterprise mobility, which only entails smartphones, tablets and portable computer, leaders need to begin planning for the IoT as soon as possible with a specific focus on security.

The health care sector has already begun to leverage tools that fall into the IoT category, such as for patient monitoring, telemedicine and physician assistance purposes, and these gadgets will generate highly sensitive information. Despite the fact that these tools pose significant threats to patient data security, medical firms have still aggressively deployed them, potentially creating a proverbial universe of vulnerabilities that will be difficult to monitor and identify.

Networks will almost undoubtedly be the battleground in this trend, as organizations will need to quickly scale up their capabilities with respect to security, bandwidth and control given the IoT’s unique demands on backend systems. With secure cloud services in place, this can be a relatively straightforward process, especially when provided by a reliable managed solutions vendor, but the ways in which the IoT will existentially shift the security conversation are massive and diverse.

Change is going to come
Gartner recently released a statement on the IoT’s impending impact on the cybercrime arena, affirming that the trend will take up greater portions of security investments in the near future, but the reason behind this is a novel one. According to the analysts, more organizations are likely to begin deploying solutions from the IoT category that are actually used to protect their operations, posturing novel gadgets as effective security tools.

That, in addition to modernizing security frameworks to embrace the IoT without taking on excessive risk, will create a very different market landscape in the coming years. Gartner estimated that roughly one-fifth of global organizations will provision some form of the IoT-centric security solutions within the next two years, boosting what is only now beginning to be a fledgling industry segment.

“The IoT now penetrates to the edge of the physical world and brings an important new ‘physical’ element to security concerns. This is especially true as billions of things begin transporting data,” Gartner Research Vice President Ganesh Ramamoorthy explained. “The IoT redefines security by expanding the scope of responsibility into new platforms, services and directions. Moving forward, enterprises should consider reshaping IT or cybersecurity strategies to incorporate known digital business goals and seek participation in digital business strategy and planning.”

In many ways, companies will need to ensure that they are taking the bull by the horns with these initiatives, working to not only capitalize on the benefit of the IoT, but mitigate any and all threats that might become an issue throughout the lifecycle of the project.

Head start
Even when medical firms are not considering the prospect of deploying solutions for the IoT, they will still need to get their IT house in order with respect to backend infrastructure and software systems. Because of the unique demands of the modern workplace, including enterprise mobility, email encryption, telecommuting, big data and more, leaders ought to be leveraging secure cloud services that will boost the elasticity of their computing capabilities while simultaneously maintaining steady capital expenditures.

With the right service provider, trends like the IoT can be faced safely and swiftly, boosting productivity and sustaining compliance with federal regulations at the same time.