Health Care Security Issues Emerging

by David L
The article I chose for this week is “Wireless Tech Makes Health Care Security a ‘Major Concern'” by Antone Gonsalves. The article addresses that medical equipment has advanced so much so fast, that the security that protects those new technologies has lagged. Gonsalves points out that “While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the manufacture of devices from design to sale, the agency does not have rules for how they should be connected and configured within a network. Therefore, it is up to medical facilities to make sure the devices, which often have access to patient medical information, are protected from hackers.” (Gonsalves). But there hasn’t been any recent news from medical facilities that say that their equipment is secured. The article also goes into some major incidents that could lead a possible future extension of malicious hacker activity to medical devices/equipment. The examples in the article are hacking an insulin pump to change settings, and hacking a defibrillator  to cause a direct shock to the heart, or to drain it’s battery within hours.

 

This relates to our class because hacking a hospital would give you a ton of valuable and sensitive information. Not only on information from a database of the patient’s name, address, age, etc., but information on the medical devices connected to the hospital network include “…wireless medical devices for diagnosis and treatment and to monitor changes in patients’ health.”, and also devices like pacemakers, insulin pumps, and defibrillators (Gonsalves).

 

Although right now how often do you see some shady person with a laptop in a hospital? But that might just be the case in a couple of years. Because technology is expanding so fast, and our dependance on it is increasing, we need to start focusing on it’s security. Especially in the healthcare sector, if the technology used there is not safe, it really is a matter of life and death.

 

Gonsalves, A. (2012, May 18). Wireless Tech Makes Health Care Security a ‘Major Concern’ . Retrieved May 20, 2012, from http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/255841/wireless_tech_makes_health_care_security_a_major_concern.html

3 thoughts on “Health Care Security Issues Emerging

  • May 21, 2012 at 12:53 am
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    Wow those are some pretty malicious crimes being committed. I didn’t know it was that easy to access the hospitals’ networks either, or how all their devices are connected to the network, making for an easy hacker target. I can see where you’re coming from, security of the network that holds the lives of thousands of people in the balance needs some special treatment.

  • May 24, 2012 at 11:14 pm
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    Indeed I think anytime when we are connected, we are vulnerable to attacks. People’s moral standard have dropped so much through out the years. With our economy not doing so well, and people are unemployed, who knows what people will do for money in this age. This will really be pretty severe damage if it is ever hacked. But it is a good news for us IT graduates, because more and more medical field is hiring IT people to strength their security.

  • May 26, 2012 at 2:48 pm
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    I knew the medical industry was investing more involving technology with it’s industry to help improve performance for patience, but I wasn’t aware that their products were so insecurity from wireless attackers. I assumed since the medical industry has millions in sales every year that they would invest some of that money back into providing more security for their products.

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