According to IBM Security’s “Threat Intelligence Index” report in 2023, the healthcare industry was among the top 10 most-attacked industries globally. The “Cost of a Data Breach 2023” report revealed that healthcare data breach costs have increased by 53.3% since 2020. Despite adhering to regulatory practices, the healthcare industry reported the most expensive data breaches for the 13th consecutive year, with an average cost of USD 10.93 million. 58% of these incidents occurred in Europe, while North America accounted for the remaining 42%.
Unified endpoint management (UEM) and medical device risk management are two concepts that work together to establish a strong cybersecurity posture in the healthcare industry. UEM technology helps manage and secure various endpoints, including mobile devices and medical devices used in healthcare. Modern UEM solutions provide a single platform for overseeing the deployment, security, and performance of devices, as well as managing the product and application lifecycle. Some UEM solutions also include risk assessment capabilities, such as AI-powered risk analysis, to meet regulatory requirements and mitigate cybersecurity vulnerabilities in real-time.
The advantages of UEM in the healthcare industry include:
- Visibility: UEM offers real-time visibility into connected medical devices, allowing healthcare providers to monitor their status, performance, and security. This helps control risks and reduces the likelihood of data leaks or cyberattacks.
- Smooth deployment: UEM solutions simplify the deployment of medical devices by allowing bulk or individual configuration according to security policies. The goal is to establish a frictionless relationship with end-users while considering their needs.
- Security Management: UEM provides robust security policies and capabilities, such as encrypted containers, single sign-on, identity management, and remote wipe. It also includes risk management policies based on industry best practices and regulatory requirements to protect patient and healthcare provider data.
On the other hand, medical device risk management focuses on prioritizing patient safety through rigorous methodology and risk control. Its key aspects include:
- Patient Safety: Risk management processes identify potential sources of harm and implement preventive measures to minimize patient risks.
- Data Security: Medical device risk management strategies incorporate cybersecurity measures to protect patient data and prevent data leaks or losses.
- Regulatory Compliance: Medical device manufacturers, like healthcare organizations, must adhere to strict regulatory guidelines. Risk evaluation, management processes, and policies are essential for compliance.
- Life Cycle Management: Managing the entire life cycle of medical devices, including procurement, deployment, and maintenance, is part of risk management. This aligns with UEM’s capability to manage the product life cycle for devices and applications.
UEM and medical device risk management align to provide a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy for the healthcare industry:
- Visibility and Monitoring: UEM solutions offer real-time visibility into medical devices, automatically identifying potential security vulnerabilities and cyberattacks.
- Policy Enforcement: UEM allows consistent enforcement of security policies and configurations across all connected devices, aligning with a company’s risk management policies.
- Quick Response: UEM enables real-time responses to security breaches, device malfunctions, or lost/stolen devices. It helps contain business risks associated with cyber threats through automated responses.
- Data Protection: Sensitive data can be encrypted and protected through UEM, ensuring compliance with data privacy regulations. Identity and access management features are also crucial for controlling access to information.
- Risk Analysis: UEM providers offer built-in analytics, some powered by AI, to assess user risk in real-time and help IT teams control risks in line with company policies.
The synergy between UEM technologies and medical device risk management ensures the safety of patient data, protects sensitive healthcare data, mitigates business risks, and increases stakeholder satisfaction. Comprehensive risk management processes should include cybersecurity risk assessments to evaluate the probability of cyberattacks. AI-powered risk analysis capabilities provided by UEM providers can be valuable in designing controls for the healthcare industry.
IBM Security’s MaaS360 is a modern UEM platform that helps healthcare organizations comply with regulatory requirements, improve data protection, and reduce the IT workload related to managing mobile devices. MaaS360’s AI-powered engine enables automatic user risk evaluation, allowing proactive vulnerability mitigation.
Learn more about IBM Security MaaS360.
Global Product Marketing Manager, IBM Security MaaS360