IoT and Healthcare: A CAM Q&A with Sean Tufts

October 19, 2020
  • October is global Cybersecurity Awareness Month.
  • Each week Andrea Hart of our Solutions Education team is hosting a brief Q&A with Sean Tufts, Optiv’s Practice Director of Product Security for ICS & IOT, addressing the week’s specific topic.
  • Week 3: What steps can healthcare providers and individuals take to #BeCyberSmart?


The healthcare industry is increasingly reliant on internet-connected devices for patient care, organizational efficiency and more, and the growth is going to continue for the foreseeable future. According to Business Insider, the global internet of medical things market is expected to grow to a $158 billion in 2022, up from $41 billion three years ago.


In this week’s Q&A, Sean examines the building blocks of IoT and IoT security in the healthcare field.


Andrea, you’re on…


Andrea: Hey all it's week three of cybersecurity awareness month. And I'm really looking forward to this one with Sean. I am Andrea Hart from our solutions education team. And this is Sean Tufts, our practice director of product security for ICS and IOT. So Sean, I read in Business Insider the other week that the global IOT market for healthcare is going all the way up to about $160 billion in the next couple of years.


Sean: 160 billion. Interesting. Yeah. Um, that doesn't surprise me at all. You know, every time we, uh, every time I go to the doctor, it's a new experience, right? It used to be, you showed up to get your file and you leave. And now it's-it's, um, the explosion of data and how, and how many professionals are looking at your data, but also how are they moving it through the systems? Right? All of that is fundamentally changed in the last decade. Um, and people want faster turnaround on lab results. They want faster, um, broadcast the technical environment. So I'm not surprised at all that the explosion of medical data as measured in the billions if not trillions, but that-that's not a surprise to me at all.


Andrea: Yeah. So, I mean, how are we going to get there? What, what trends are you seeing? Where's that growth coming from?


Sean: You know, the trends I'm seeing are interesting, right? Cause the, the medical is a weird duality, right? On one hand, you've got a lot of advanced features and functionality. And on the other hand, you're still dealing with a lot of old legacy networks that we're still working the kinks out of and the mistakes we made, you know, in 1995 and we're still living with. Um, so the two biggest trends we've seen is further segmentation and actually putting together a real thoughtful strategy around segmentation in the clinical environment. The second one is visibility from a strict understanding, the baseline understanding of what do we have in the environment, how many MRI machines, how many laptops do we have? How many iPads are floating around. Understanding those devices just how big the network is (which the industry secret is, we don't really know) um, getting some rigidity around that. Knowing what's in play is the first step to security.


Andrea: Awesome. Well, thank you for sharing your thoughts, Sean. Next week, we are going to wrap up our IOT series for cybersecurity awareness month and Sean is gonna pull out his crystal ball and tell us what's up next in the future. Thanks Sean.


Sean: Thanks.