Microsegmentation for Healthcare Systems



Microsegmentation can help keep medical devices secure and patient data safe. Healthcare organizations can accomplish this through the development of tools that monitor Internet of Things (IoT) traffic.

Healthcare facilities using IoT medical devices have the ability to improve patient care and reduce costs. However, they also face the cyber security issues that come with using connected devices. Anything from patient data to machine monitoring functions can be at risk because each device is connected. This leaves them vulnerable to cyber attacks that can take out entire systems.

Microsegmentation and Healthcare

By breaking the IT ecosystem down into small segments, microsegmentation reduces the risk of an attack disabling the entire system. This means that if one segment of the system is breached or compromised, the others can be protected.

A recent survey from Black Book Market Research shows that 70% of healthcare IT teams are not fully aware of all of the cyber security solutions that exist for their IoT devices. Jeffrey Gardner, director of information security at Landmark Health, predicts that breaches in data will cost healthcare organizations up to $4 billion USD by the end of 2019 alone.

Microsegmentation gives healthcare organizations more control over how much information is communicated between devices. Through microsegmentation, organizations are able to keep their data safe because the information is separate and each individual piece is secure.

Security Risks

Security in the industry healthcare is crucial due to the sensitive information that is given and shared. Research firm Vanson Bourne identified that among 282 surveyed healthcare organizations, 82% have had a cyber attack in the last year. The vulnerabilities recognized in the survey include networks (50%), mobile devices and accompanying apps (45%), and IoT devices (42%).

Microsegmentation allows network security to become more targeted. IoT security options that feature some degree of segmenting include next-generation firewalls, virtual local area networks (VLAN), and access control lists (ACL). However, with microsegmentation, procedures are set to each segmented workload to prevent cyber attacks.

Zero-Trust Policy

Zero-trust security requires authorization and validation for restricted access to applications, data or systems. By using a zero-trust approach, all devices, networks, and resources are microsegmented. User access is restricted only to what the individual needs. This type of microsegmentation can be difficult to deploy and operate, but it gives organizations greater security benefits should there ever be an attack.

Preparing for Evolving IoT Technology

Find out what new IoT developments could impact your industry. Prepare your organization with the IEEE Guide to the Internet of Things, a series of eight training courses led by top researchers in the field. This program is designed for professionals working in engineering, IT, computer science, and related disciplines across all industries.

Connect with an IEEE Content Specialist and receive a custom quote for your organization today.

Interested in the course for yourself? Visit the IEEE Learning Network today!


Canellos, David. (6 November 2019). Microsegmentation and Isolation: 2 Essential Strategies in Zero-Trust Security. Threatpost.

Harris, Benjamin. (21 November 2019). Microsegmentation: Keeping IoT expansion risks at bay. Healthcare IT News.

Violino, Bob. (10 October 2019). Can microsegmentation help IoT security?. Network News.

Walker, Tracey. (26 November 2019). The Cybersecurity Landscape in Healthcare. Managed Healthcare Executive.

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