Health Care Security Issues Emerging{3}


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