The healthcare IT landscape is rapidly evolving and driven by digital transformation efforts that aim to enhance patient care and network operational efficiency. However, this digital shift introduces complex challenges, including escalating security threats and the critical need for robust, reliable network infrastructure. As healthcare technology management (HTM) professionals increasingly adopt technologies like Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) and telehealth, the demand for secure, uninterrupted network services has never been higher.

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Discover how integrated DNS, DHCP, and IP address management can significantly improve the efficiency and security of healthcare IT infrastructure.

The threat landscape in healthcare industry today  

It’s essential to identify where vulnerabilities lie within the healthcare industry to grasp the extent of possible data breaches. A deeper look at the major healthcare data breaches in 2023 caused by hacking or IT incidents paints a concerning picture. A report from Infoblox highlights a staggering fact: Approximately 78% of these attacks involved data that was housed on network servers. This indicates a significant security risk in the current infrastructure where the bulk of sensitive data resides.

The infographic below from Infoblox’s 2024- Healthcare Cyber Trend Research Report illustrates the breakdown of the locations where breached data was prominently stored.

The prominence of network servers as the focal point of data exfiltration underscores the urgent need to erect robust security protocols and systems. The potential impact of such breaches is enormous, with the majority of critical patient information and healthcare data being digital and stored on these servers. Protecting this data is not just about safeguarding information; it’s about ensuring the trust and safety of patients whose data is entrusted to healthcare providers.

Challenges in smart healthcare 


As healthcare devices and services become increasingly interconnected, ensuring seamless and reliable connectivity becomes crucial. This not only includes the connection between medical devices but also their integration with electronic health records (EHRs), telemedicine platforms, and other healthcare IT systems.


The highly sensitive nature of health data necessitates robust security measures to protect against data breaches and cyberattacks. The increasing number of connected devices and the complexity of healthcare networks make this a significant challenge.

Data management and integration  

The vast amount of network IP data generated by digital healthcare’s critical devices, and applications requires centralized data management and integration capabilities to ensure that data is accurately captured, stored, and made accessible to the right stakeholders managing the network.

Compliance and privacy 

Healthcare providers must navigate a complex landscape of various international and national regulations and standards designed to protect patient privacy and ensure data security, including: HIPAA, HITECH, healthcare industry cybersecurity practices (HICP), NIST guidelines, network and information systems (NIS2) directive, the GDPR, and the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA).

Role of DDI solutions in healthcare networks

DDI (DNS, DHCP, and IPAM) solutions are crucial for smart healthcare due to the sector’s unique demands for high network reliability, robust security, and efficient management of network resources. By integrating DNS, DHCP, and IPAM, DDI solutions ensure continuous access to critical healthcare IoMT devices, applications, and patient data, safeguard sensitive information in compliance with strict regulations, and streamline the management of an increasingly complex network infrastructure with preconfigurable network automations. This makes DDI indispensable for supporting digital transformation in healthcare, enhancing patient care, and protecting against cyberthreats.

In today’s healthcare network infrastructures, here is how DDI solutions play a critical role in addressing the challenges mentioned above.

Enhancing connectivity and resiliency 

DDI ensures that healthcare IT systems and devices are seamlessly connected to the network, facilitating reliable communication and data exchange. By managing IP addresses and hostnames efficiently, DDI supports the dynamic nature of healthcare environments where devices and applications frequently change.

Improving DNS security

DDI contributes to healthcare IT security by providing the first line of defense against cyberthreats that are DNS-driven. It can enforce security policies at the DNS level with DNS firewall, blocking access to recognized collection of malicious domains and preventing data exfiltration.

Quickly identify compromised hosts or services within your infrastructure with the lease history data that associates DNS queries with user or device actions mapped to a specific IP address over a specific lease duration. Attain a thorough comprehension of network dynamics to swiftly address security incidents and diminish mean time to respond (MTTR) eliminating the need to sift through numerous logs. Additionally, with DNS security extensions, a DDI solution can protect against DNS spoofing attacks. It can also integrate with other security solutions to provide comprehensive protection against a wide range of cyberthreats.

Zero touch provisioning

DDI facilitates zero touch provisioning (ZTP) by automating the configuration and deployment of new devices and services in the healthcare network on a massive scale with preboot execution environment (PXE) booting. This not only speeds up the deployment process but also reduces the potential for human error, enhancing both efficiency and security.

Monitoring and alerting

DDI solutions often include monitoring and alerting capabilities that allow administrators to detect suspicious network activity. This includes unusual DNS requests or DHCP lease anomalies, rogue actors like Rogue DHCP servers leasing out IP addresses on its own, dynamically updating IP address(s) of DNS records on its own which could indicate potential data exfiltration attempts. Timely alerts enable administrators to investigate and respond to security incidents promptly.

Network segmentation

Network segmentation in healthcare networks can be easily achieved using a DDI solution through its coordinated use of VLANs, IPAM, DHCP fingerprinting and domain views. VLANs isolate the traffic of critical medical devices including heart rate monitors, ingestible sensors, ventilators, wearables, connected inhalers and more. IPAM acts as the single network source of truth (NSoT) managing a central repository of IP address allocations to ensures that there is no overlap or conflict between segments. Along with DHCP fingerprinting for device classification, and domain views for segmented DNS information delivery, these technologies provide a robust framework for securing and managing a segmented network infrastructure that aligns with organizational objectives and security best practices.

Network efficiency

By providing centralized management of DNS, DHCP, and IPAM, DDI solutions help streamline network administration tasks, reduce operational complexities, and improve overall network performance. This is essential in healthcare environments where network reliability and performance can directly impact patient care.

With a robust DDI solution like ManageEngine DDI Central in place, as an IT admin for your Healthcare organization you can:

  • Efficiently assign and track IP addresses of IoMT and telehealth devices with holistic and contextualized visibility.

  • Centralize the control over network resources and correlate the network IP data with built-in data triangulation capabilities. This ensures perfect sync across the three core services—DNS, DHCP, and IPAM—aligning their data points and deriving actionable insights, facilitating easier troubleshooting within the healthcare network.

  • Customize and manage the IP network configurations of highly critical sensors and hands-on patient devices using host or host group configurations

  • Improve network security and safeguard against cyberthreats with robust DNS security features. Implement proactive technologies such as domain blocking with DNS firewalls before an attack occurs and utilize response rate limiting (RRL) for regulating response throttling to effectively mitigate the risk of an ongoing DNS amplification attack.

The integration of DDI solutions into healthcare networks marks a significant leap towards digital excellence. By ensuring reliable network uptime, securely connecting IoMT devices, and protecting patient data, DDI lays the foundation for a future where smart healthcare delivery is both efficient and secure, ultimately enhancing patient experience and trust in digital healthcare services.

Take charge of your healthcare network infrastructure with ManageEngine’s own DDI solution DDI Central and experience secure, efficient, and cost-effective operations. Download a free, 30-day trial now to optimize your network.