Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Digital Health






School of Science




Cyber Security Research Centre Limited / Australian Government Cooperative Research Centres


Suleski, T., Ahmed, M., Yang, W., & Wang, E. (2023). A review of multi-factor authentication in the internet of healthcare things. Digital Health, 9, 1-20.


Objective: This review paper aims to evaluate existing solutions in healthcare authentication and provides an insight into the technologies incorporated in Internet of Healthcare Things (IoHT) and multi-factor authentication (MFA) applications for next-generation authentication practices. Our review has two objectives: (a) Review MFA based on the challenges, impact and solutions discussed in the literature; and (b) define the security requirements of the IoHT as an approach to adapting MFA solutions in a healthcare context. Methods: To review the existing literature, we indexed articles from the IEEE Xplore, ACM Digital Library, ScienceDirect, and SpringerLink databases. The search was refined to combinations of ‘authentication’, ‘multi-factor authentication’, ‘Internet of Things authentication’, and ‘medical authentication’ to ensure that the retrieved journal articles and conference papers were relevant to healthcare and Internet of Things-oriented authentication research. Results: The concepts of MFA can be applied to healthcare where security can often be overlooked. The security requirements identified result in stronger methodologies of authentication such as hardware solutions in combination with biometric data to enhance MFA approaches. We identify the key vulnerabilities of weaker approaches to security such as password use against various cyber threats. Cyber threats and MFA solutions are categorised in this paper to facilitate readers’ understanding of them in healthcare domains. Conclusions: We contribute to an understanding of up-to-date MFA approaches and how they can be improved for use in the IoHT. This is achieved by discussing the challenges, benefits, and limitations of current methodologies and recommendations to improve access to eHealth resources through additional layers of security.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.