Medigate And Cerner Join Forces To Bolster Healthcare Cybersecurity

Israeli startup, medical device security and asset management firm Medigate has partnered with the medical information technology juggernaut, Cerner. The companies say the partnership will offer hospitals and health systems more in-depth visibility into their security with continuous monitoring of network activity to create a current, detailed medical and IoT device inventory.

Medigate CEO Jonathan Langer points to research from IDC that estimates about 41.6 billion IoT devices in the field by 2025. Given the massive propagation of unprotected connected technologies, many operating on legacy software, "it is extremely important that healthcare organizations have more visibility and control over what's going on in their clinical network," he said.

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Under the arrangement, when customers work with Medigate they’ll also receive support from Cerner’s cybersecurity team, which will help with inventory as well as remediation services designed to limit attacks during a security breach. This collaboration makes it easy to identify potential security risks and support an appropriate response to effectively protect the integrity and privacy of the clinical network.

It comes as no surprise that security is becoming a growing area of concern for networked healthcare technologies. Recently enforced guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration which require medical devices to include security features like encryption, signature verification, and intrusion detection support these concerns. A 2018 report from Experian indicated that 233 breaches were reported to the Department of Health and Human Services, media or state attorneys general from January to June 2017. And of those 193 attacks where the scope of the breach was calculated, roughly 3.2 million patient records were affected.

It’s especially important when you consider that the average hospital room has nearly 15 to 20 devices that can connect to the cloud. The healthcare sector has a tendency to react retroactively to breaches, but their most concerning security issues are the lack of preventative actions, some as simple as skipping necessary Windows software updates.

Together, Medigate and Cerner hope to stop these breaches, as the total number of IoT devices is expected to grow from 10 billion to 50 billion over the next decade, which will no doubt be a challenge for healthcare organizations.

Experian forecasts that by 2021, the healthcare cybersecurity will be a $65 billion industry.