News in the Channel - issue #16


need to be addressed. “We’re also seeing how the integration of IoT devices, the adoption of telemedicine and the use of mobile health applications are reshaping the demands for secure networking in healthcare,” says Alan. “With these additional requirements in mind, it is imperative that the networking solutions the NHS choose are equipped with advanced security features to meet these new challenges. By providing a secure and manageable networking infrastructure, healthcare providers can embrace digital innovation confidently, ensuring the safety and privacy of patient data.” Richard adds that vendors are responsible for managing the security risks of those IoT devices, and they often struggle because they don’t know what’s on the network. “We’ve got to get to a better understanding, better visibility of assets that connect to the network, what those assets are, what risks they pose to the integrity of the network and to patients who may be connected to them or being treated, managed or monitored by them and find a way to minimise those risks, either by sending out teams to patch those devices, where patches exist or by looking at compensating security controls,” he says. “I think most hospitals struggle with that right now. They don’t have a modern network that support these technologies, certainly edge-based networking.” Aaron Walton, threat intel analyst at Expel, says that healthcare organisations will continue to be pushed into finding more solutions to secure their networks. “However, these solutions need to be affordable and accessible,” he says. “In this year and beyond, healthcare will move more toward solutions that can protect their networks – even when that network is connected to another, potentially compromised network – and solutions that can aid in meeting and demonstrating regulatory compliance requirements. “More than ever, organisations recognise the considerable threats against their industry, while at the same time knowing they’re strapped for cash. Within all of this, organisations will need to ensure they can meet all these goals, and solutions will need to rise to the occasion.” Work to be done Indeed, there is plenty of work that needs to be done and that resellers working with healthcare organisations can do to guide healthcare

organisations towards what they need and make sure they are as secure as possible. “Unfortunately, a lot of hospital IT staff are constantly troubleshooting problems and they don’t really get a chance to sit down and work in project-based teams to evaluate, upgrade and optimise the kit they’ve got, they’re just trying to scrape it all together with Sellotape,” says Richard. “Unfortunately, that’s a result of chronic underinvestment. A lot of old kit has now gone, but we still don’t have the levels of optimisation of existing tools and technologies that hospitals have purchased and procured because they don’t have the expertise to use that. “We’ve seen a huge rise in ransomware attacks against hospitals worldwide. The NHS has been pounded quite a lot over the last few years. This is an escalating trend and needs addressing.” Alan says that, looking ahead, the healthcare sector is set to be influenced by several key trends, including the rollout of 5G technology, the increased application of AI and machine learning and the continued growth of telehealth services. “These developments will drive the need for more sophisticated networking solutions,” he says. “We cannot underestimate the critical role that networking solutions play in the healthcare sector’s digital transformation and, ultimately, in the health of the nation.” Neil adds that the growth in the use of GenAI in cyberattacks will give rise to the potential for more advanced attacks that can discover IoT and OT devices on the network. “More malware will be created to specifically identify and connect industrial and medical- specific devices, and cybersecurity teams will need to adapt their strategy in turn,” he says. “We will also see the rise of traditionally air-gapped systems join the network, and they may lack updates or patches – and so require protection where no patches or vendor support is available anymore.”

Aaron Walton

More than ever, organisations recognise the considerable threats against their industry, while at the same time knowing they’re strapped for cash. “ ”


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