Best practices for securing hospital Wi-Fi networks described in white paper

March 14, 2012
Wi-Fi Alliance document provides specific recommendations for healthcare IT professionals to protect hospital Wi-Fi networks from unauthorized access.

A new white paper from the Wi-Fi Alliance provides specific recommendations for healthcare IT professionals on the use of WPA2-Enterprise security and 802.1x authentication protocols to protect hospital Wi-Fi networks from unauthorized access via compromised passwords, data exposure, and "man-in-the-middle" threats.

Wi-Fi Alliance notes that connecting medical devices to a hospital's wireless network may improve clinical workflows, while ensuring access to real-time patient data and enabling more efficient use of Clinical Information Systems (CIS). However, hospital staff and patients must have confidence that a hospital’s Wi-Fi network is able to protect sensitive patient information, provide reliable data connectivity, and effectively support all connected devices, both medical and non-medical.

As such, the white paper, Wi-Fi in Healthcare: Security Solutions for Hospital Wi-Fi Networks, also includes recommendations for establishing and managing secure Wi-Fi networks, as well as considerations regarding the mobility needs of network devices in hospital environments, including bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy management.

Wi-Fi Alliance says that all recommendations can be considered best practices, and may be included as risk control measures when implementing risk management plans for hospital networks per the international standard IEC 80001-1:2010.

Download the white paper here.

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