Best Practices for Secure Medical IoT Devices: The Road to Ensuring Safety

By Prometteur solutions 16 Min Read

Hello! You are welcome to our blog post on the best practices for secure medical IoT devices.

We are currently witnessing a revolution in the healthcare industry.

This revolution is driven by the adoption of the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT).

The adoption is leading to efficiency in three major areas; monitoring, patient engagement, and operational efficiencies.

However, Dean Levitt, observes that, despite IoMT’s fantastic results, the technology comes with some security challenges.

This blog post discusses critical aspects of security challenges in IoMT and the best practices for secure medical IoT devices.

If it sounds like what you are looking for, we encourage you to get a chill drink and let us take you on a learning journey.

Understanding Medical IoT Security Risks

Many IoT devices in the healthcare industry are by default, vulnerable to cyberattacks and unauthorized access from malicious people.

But here is the good news; as these security challenges exist in IoMT devices and systems, there are best practices for secure medical IoT devices. These best practices can ensure patient safety and data privacy from cyber attackers and malicious people.

However, before we go into the best practices on how to secure medical IoT devices, let us see what Dean Levitt says about IoMT security challenges.

According to Dean Levitt, there are 4 medical IoT security risks that are worthy of mention when discussing best practices for secure medical IoT devices.

According to him, the challenges of IoT security for medical devices are;

  • Increased attack surface
  • Legacy devices
  • Interoperability
  • Data privacy

For the sake of this blog post, understanding these IOMT challenges by Dean is essential to knowing best practices for secure medical IoT devices.

Increased attack surface

This is one of the medical IoT security risks. It simply means that because there is a global increase and advances of IoT-connected devices, there are also more vulnerabilities in the IoT landscape for cybercriminals.

This is very true because there are lots of security weak spots on IoMT technologies. And when you think you have addressed one, another one pops up. A typical example is the need for manufacturers of the products to comply with global security standards.

There is also the need for IoT developers to prioritize security at the point of coding. Other issues leading to increased attack surface in IoMT include data encryption, lack of authentication, and weak passwords.

Also, issues of insecure mobile apps and unprotected mobile devices can lead to security breaches in the IoT landscape.

This is a serious challenge. It makes the implementation of best practices for secure medical IoT devices to be more complex. It means to ensure a near-perfect security structure in the IoMT landscape, all stakeholders must collaborate and partner for the same goal.

Legacy Devices

On legacy devices, there are so many medical devices with a long life that do not guarantee security. This is because they were built with security as a priority. This, in other words, means that they are very open to attacks.

Legacy devices Increase the possibilities of medical IoT security risks because;

You may already have some systems and devices on the ground and you intend to integrate them with IoT technologies.

Even if you purchase highly secured IoT devices, integrating them with legacy devices weakens your security system.

Legacy devices are most likely outdated and need serious upgrading. Those that can be upgraded via over-the-air updates may not even have continuous support from the manufacturers anymore.

On your path, as an investor, you may not be able to afford a total revamp of your technology systems. And so, you may likely ask your IoT integration and implementation team to make do with available resources.

With these and more dynamic, your security systems will be very weak and susceptible to cyber-attacks and unauthorized access.

Legacy devices will, therefore, render the implementation of best practices for secure medical IoT devices ineffective.


This has to do with the complexities that come with ensuring secure communication with different devices and systems. Dean says the complexities come with several security flaws that end up exposing vulnerabilities in data transmission.

The Digital Transformation, powered by AI and the LinkedIn community agrees with the dean on this. Taking this further they claim that Interoperability poses security threats due to diversity. Connected IoT devices often have different brands, vendors, licenses, platforms, protocols, and even standards.

Diversity issue usually leads to connection issue, then community issues, and then security issues. It affects the whole performance of the systems

You can approach Interoperability issues only when you implement best practices for secure medical IoT devices in a certain way(s). this according to Digital Transformation is by

Choosing IoT devices and systems with common standards and protocols. They also claim you can address these by using “middleware or gateways that can translate and bridge different formats and languages”.

Another method, according to the IoT experts, is for you to regularly “test and monitor your IoT network”. This also entails always “updating or replacing outdated or incompatible devices and systems.”

Data privacy

Data privacy is the last on Dean’s list of medical IoT security risks. It has to do with the protection of sensitive data from unauthorized people, access, and even breaches.

This is a very critical part of IoMT security because patient trust can be broken from data breaches.

The best practices for secure medical IoT devices may not be very effective in data privacy for several reasons; not all IOMT devices have good security in pace. Not all users use the best security features. And not everyone knows how to utilize data encryption for data security.

However, no matter the shortcoming, it is important that you comply with regulations like HIPAA.

10 Best Practices for Secure Medical IoT Devices?

When it comes to securing medical IoT devices, it is very crucial to implement best practices. Best practices on security will help you in data security, upholding integrity and reliability.

Here are some key best practices for secure medical IoT devices:

1. Strong Authentication:

This is one of the ways you can Implement best practices for secure medical IoT devices. Strong authentication mechanisms are top security tools in the IoT landscape.

They offer security measures like two-factor authentication or biometrics scanning. Both of these are very helpful in efficiently preventing unauthorized access to medical IoT devices.

Scholarly Community Encyclopaedia affirms that IoMT authentication ensures that “only authorized users and devices are enabled to use system resources and services.”

However, while integrating this security measure at the manufacturing level, it is important to test it against attacks. This will help in knowing which authentication attacks will breach the security and how to improve the security.

2. Encryption:

Another important best practice for secure medical IoT devices is data encryption. This is very important in ensuring data security, especially during transmission processes.

It is important to note that healthcare applications utilize cloud-based storage and their data are frequent targets of cybercriminals.

Best security practices demand enhanced protection from interceptions or unauthorized access by unauthorized individuals.

You can imagine a case of emergency, that is also life-threatening, but there is an interception with the data during transmission. This will lead to delays which can escalate or deepen the severity of the patient’s condition.

Therefore, as part of medical IoT security solutions, encryption is very crucial because IOMT deals with patient data that requires privacy.

3. Regular Software Updates:

Medical experts must endeavour to keep up date all medical IoT devices with the latest security patches. They must also ensure that they have the latest firmware updates.

These are vital in effectively addressing vulnerabilities. The updates and upgrades are also important for reducing the risks of cyberattacks.

Regular software updates are part of IoT security for medical device compliance.

This also means that medical experts need to go for new, modern, and highly secure IOMT devices. The IoT market is flooded with many products; some secure and others insecure.

Medical practitioners should conduct quality research and consult with IOMT experts for the best IOMT solutions. They should also go for IoMT devices and systems with support for OTA updates and automation for efficiency.

4. Network Segmentation:

Network segmentation is very important. Within the healthcare environment, it can limit security breaches, prevent lateral movement, and minimize data exposure.

Medical experts may isolate their networks from the rest of the internet.

Setting such boundaries makes it very possible to build some penetration gaps in IoMT devices and systems.

Also, you may ensure that all your vital information is inside your organization’s network.

5. Access Control:

It is also among the best practices for IoT security in healthcare to ensure access control. Very strict access control. This security measure ensures that only authorized personnel gain access to management settings.

For example, in a company of 50, only about two people may have access to modifying the settings on medical IoT devices. Such access control reduces risks. Especially with tampering or malicious activities.

6. Secure Communication Protocols:

IoMT uses divergent communication protocols and sometimes issues of security begin here. Ensure you research on best secure protocols for your IoMT and how secure their secure communication protocols are. Also, ensure they come with proper encryption.

Ensuring that all these are in place will help safeguard data transmission between medical IoT devices and other systems.

7. Regular Risk Assessments:

While using IoMT, the technology should offer top features of IoT security for hospitals. These features and functionalities should be working and updated at all times.

To ensure this happens, you must conduct regular risk assessments. These assessments will allow your healthcare organization to easily identify vulnerabilities.

It will also assess several potential impacts of vulnerabilities. With all this information at your disposal, you should be able to make informed decisions, including implementing appropriate security controls accordingly.

8. Physical Security Measures:

Physical security measures are not very common because healthcare organisations do not take them seriously. However, it is also top among the best practices for secure medical IoT devices

Do not allow everyone into your medical IoT-installed areas. In other words, it should be a restricted area. This is one of the best ways to protect your medical IoT devices.

In addition to the restriction, install smart surveillance cameras for smart monitoring. Also, complement all of these with the use of secure cloud-based storage services to prevent unauthorized tampering or theft.

9. Vendor Due Diligence:

When planning to buy your IoMT devices for your healthcare business, ensure you do your due diligence. Check with your vendors, check with different vendors. Check their customer reviews. Ask for recommendations from IoT users.

These will help you to get the IoMT devices with the right features for your needs. It will also help you to buy IoT devices with automatic updating features for proper management processes.

10. Employee Training:

Our last pick in the list of best practices for IoT security in healthcare is employee training on security issues. It is not enough to get the best IoMT devices, secure connectivity, and other medical IoT security solutions.

You need to put the human factor in others for proper use and that is by training them on various IoMT security areas.

For example, your employees need to know how to keep healthcare IoMT devices and computers secure and protected. They also should not be clicking on strange files.

Security training for IoMT in healthcare will help your staff to be aware of potential threats, phishing attacks, and social engineering tactics. It will also enlighten them on the proper handling of sensitive patient data.

By following these best practices for securing medical IoT devices, healthcare organizations can mitigate risks and protect patient privacy, ensuring the safe and reliable operation of connected healthcare systems.

Conclusion: Best Practices for Securing Medical IoT Devices

Implementing best practices for secure medical IoT devices is very important for ensuring the security of your devices.

As you embark on a journey to strengthen IoT security for medical devices, ensure you take the time to understand the medical IoMT security risks. This will help you to implement the best

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