5 Cyber Security Predictions in Healthcare for 2017
May 15, 2017
Cybersecurity is a great concern in the healthcare industry. Each year poses new problems for consideration. Anything wireless can be hacked so the level of encryption and the means to deliver it has to be increased. In 2017, there are new worries in healthcare that have some projectionists concerned for the welfare of healthcare facilities, patients, and managed service providers.
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The good and bad of IoT
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing. It is encompassing the world which is great. Or is it?
Wireless signals are coming from pacemakers, light bulbs, washing machines, and cars. Everything that has a wireless signal has a potential to be piggybacked by a hacker’s infiltration signal. Two-way encryption methods are being designed by manufacturers to help with cyberattacks. A pacemaker that is hacked is very bad. So is a car that is hacked. A light bulb is not going to kill you, but it does create a risk of identity theft.
Light bulbs and appliances in the home are still connected to the home’s router. This is the same router that is connected to your computer or home monitoring system. If a hacker can connect to any device associated with the router, then they may have a way into all other systems connected to the router. This also holds true in hospitals or healthcare clinics. If there is a patient walking around with a wireless medical bracelet, then there is a potential to connect to the hospital servers. This is due to the real-time data sent from the bracelet to the server.
This is a growing field of study across the Internet. New AI-type portals are being developed and planned to be used in 2017. These new portals allow patients to access their records and possibly chat with nurses online. The more advanced versions will allow video conferencing and file transfers. This means files, pictures, and other forms of media can be easily sent to hospitals and other facilities. Since an email can be the cause of virus attacks, there is no reason files can’t do the same thing. Hackers are clever and can place viruses in just about any form of media that needs to be clicked on.
DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks are becoming more of a concern in the healthcare industry. Hackers look at hospitals as opportunities. Client information can be sold to Internet black markets where identity thieves purchase the information and create fake medical IDs. They then use these IDs to get medications or free medical treatment at the cost of the company or the patient.
These attacks are becoming sneakier all the time. Hackers now use DDoS attacks as a diversion so they can sneak a ransomware virus into the networks of healthcare facilities. This form of attack locks up all systems on a network, and try to force the agency to pay a couple of thousand dollars to free up the network. Then the IT department will spend hours or days purging the system of the virus.
A Fileless world
Since Microsoft’s release of PowerShell, there has been an overwhelming number of attacks on computers. These forms of attacks write directly to the ROM (read-only memory) and not to a file. This means the virus can load when the computer boots up, and before it loads the operating system. This virus does not have to create a backdoor to get in, it just walks right in through the front door.
Some of these are scary, but the nice thing is that companies are already working on ways to prevent each of these attacks. The largest problems in the near future are DDoS and ransomware attacks. Hackers are finding ways to attack systems with multiple viruses to create layers of security issues. However, there are new technologies in development that will totally thwart these types of attacks. As attacks change, network administrators and managed service providers must adapt; they have to implement updated solutions and protocols to keep up.
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