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VMblog's Expert Interviews: ZingBox Talks #IoT Security in #Healthcare


VMblog speaks with John Yun, Head of Marketing for ZingBox, to learn more about the challenges and the solutions available within the Healthcare IoT security market.

VMblog:  To kick things off, can you tell readers about ZingBox and explain what you do?

John Yun:  ZingBox provides hospitals, companies and manufacturing facilities with Internet of Things (IoT) security software that helps ensure service delivery. ZingBox's new approach is based on deep learning and enforcement of trusted behavior. We were founded by Silicon Valley veterans with expertise in cybersecurity, IoT, deep learning, and networking. Notably, ZingBox was selected by the Stanford StartX program, and was most recently named a "Cool Vendor in IOT Security, 2017" by Gartner.

VMblog:  I understand you recently fielded a survey, what did you discover?

Yun:  We conducted a survey earlier this month and found that the majority of healthcare IT networks have IoT devices and that most IT departments believe that existing security solutions for laptops and servers can also protect connected medical devices. In fact, More than 90% of healthcare IT networks have IoT devices connected to them and over 70% believe that the traditional security solutions used to secure laptops and servers are sufficient to secure IoT connected medical devices.

In addition, the survey found that over 76% of IT decision-makers within healthcare organizations are confident or very confident that all devices connected to their network are protected. Surprisingly, despite using the same laptop and server security techniques, IT at healthcare organizations believe they can detect irregularities in network traffic and account for the different personalities of an infusion pump or glucometer and can detect when it's not behaving as intended.

VMblog:  What was the most surprising thing learned about your survey?

Yun:  The results of the survey were sobering in terms of the risks the healthcare community faces. Healthcare organizations must consider modern techniques such as cloud, machine learning and real-time remediation across an organization's entire IoT footprint. IoT requires a more thorough approach to constantly monitor for deviations in behavior and provide alerts for suspicious behavior.

There is a state of confusion and misconceptions in the healthcare industry on how best to secure connected medical devices. The need to gain a deeper understanding of the unique individual personalities of IoT devices remains a foreign concept to many. 

IoT technology presents special challenges to a healthcare organization's ability to protect itself from both insider threats as well as external cyberattacks across a wide range of attack vectors, as demonstrated by the most recent WannaCry ransomware and NotPetya wiperware attacks. As these attacks continue to step to the forefront, companies deploying IoT devices need to be more cognizant than ever of their security measures.

VMblog:  What are the keys to a successful healthcare IoT security strategy?

Yun:  A successful healthcare IoT security strategy must be reimagined from the ground up taking into considerations the unique characteristics of connected medical devices.  Carrying over assumptions from IT security approach is the highest cause of failure of any IoT security strategy. For example, typical vulnerability scanning solution deployed for IT devices when aimed at IoT devices can often render the device inoperative.  Any attempt to install AV engine or other clients can cause malfunctions.  Simply blocking what appears to be unrelated ports or protocols at the firewall can also cause unexpected results.  A successful strategy must start with the assumption that the best approach is to start with an out-of-band solution ensuring no operational impact of the device.  The security capabilities must also be architected to be non-disruptive in every step of the way.

VMblog:  And what are some real-world problems you are helping your clients solve?

Yun:  Healthcare organizations cannot install traditional security clients on IoT devices nor can they employ other monitoring solutions designed to secure IT devices.  These organizations also cannot install patches as recommended by many vendors.  Lacking the ability to update the device and the inability to employ traditional IT security solutions, organizations have no choice but to take the device out of circulation or simply leave with the risk with the vulnerable device in use.

VMblog:  What are the most common issues you see with healthcare IoT security?

Yun:  The most common issue with healthcare IoT security is the lack of visibility. Many organizations do not have clear visibility into the number and type of IoT devices that are deployed in the organizations network. Without this visibility, you simply cannot assess the overall risk or vulnerability of the environment.

VMblog:  Finally, talk about how healthcare IoT security has changed in the past year.

Yun:  The past year brought a new level of awareness and focus on IoT security.  Starting from the Murai attack which turned many IoT devices to bots, the recent ransomware and wiperware turned IoT devices to very expensive paper weights.  What had been considered as possible future scenario became very real in matter of months.


Thanks again to John Yun, Head of Marketing for ZingBox, for speaking to

Published Thursday, July 20, 2017 7:01 AM by David Marshall
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