In recent years, healthcare has become one of the most targeted industries for cyber-attacks. That said, the risk of these attacks isn’t limited to health data and services. According to The Center for Internet Security, “For healthcare, cyber attacks can have ramifications beyond financial loss and breach of privacy.” Human lives are also threatened by these attacks. Hackers can take over any medical device that is hooked up to a network. This includes devices such as heart defibrillators and electric wheelchairs. The threat of these attacks is only increasing as network connected devices become more rooted in the healthcare system. Even with these dangers, technology is not something that we should fear. Instead, we should learn about it.
Data theft attacks are the most common threat to the healthcare space. It’s likely that these attacks begin something like this: a physician, who can access a patient’s records, receives an email from an attacker convincing them to click on a link that downloads bits of malware to their computer. With the use of this malicious malware, the attacker can now enter into the organization’s systems that hold financial, clinical and administrative information.
Sometimes malware can stay in a system even if the original download has been exposed and eliminated. This situation is called an advanced persistent threat. Independent.co says that when this happens, the malware can steal data and direct network traffic to the attacker so they can see exactly what is happening in the system in real time. This is when they have the ability to spread into the network through medical devices. The hackers can create a second entrance into the network and continue to access data, even if the software security is consistently updated.
The healthcare industry holds ample opportunity for hackers because of how technology-heavy it is. It consists of expensive technology and devices that go beyond conventional computer systems, but include components inserted into human patients as well. “There are also many ways in for a healthcare hacker, from data networks to mobile applications and even non-medical systems such as CCTV,” according to Independent.co.
The rising number of network-connected devices gives hackers more ways of entry. These are more appealing to hackers because of the type of information they exchange with medical staff. The dangers here are the most alarming because these devices are used for surgeries and treatments. If a tool was hacked while being used for an operation, a human life could be at risk.
Understand The Risks
Threats aside, It’s important to note that the healthcare industry has taken steps to better protect itself, as new security measures have been installed in many clinics and hospitals. However, like many situations, once one problem is solved another one pops up. Remember, a whole system can be shook by the smallest amount of malware. That’s why it’s important to train your staff and learn about the risks so that you can take the proper steps in guarding yourself from cyber-attacks.
MDL Technology works around the clock to help ensure that your data is both safe and secure. Visit our website to learn more.