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Investigating cybersecurity in hospitals

| Jun 16, 2017 | Hospital Negligence

Most of the concerns New York City residents bring to us here at Futterman, Sirotkin, and Seinfeld regarding their healthcare surrounds their treatment, not their security. Like most, you may think that the only dangerous intruders in a hospital are those microscopic bugs threatening to follow you home. However, with all the news that has surfaced in recent years regarding cyberattacks, is it realistic to think that the healthcare industry is immune to such threats? If it is not, is your local hospital or medical center is taking adequate step to protect you from such risks?

According to data shared by Independent Security Evaluators, the answer to that question is no. In a study involving healthcare facilities, researchers showed that when it comes to cybersecurity, healthcare organizations place a vast majority of their efforts on protecting medical records rather than defending their systems from sophisticated attacks. Such attacks could range altering your medical records to actually manipulating your treatment. Information included in this study showed that a sophisticated cyberintruder could potentially do the following in a hospital with little resistance:

  •          Altering the function of medical devices
  •          Changing work orders and care plans
  •          Causing equipment to fail during surgery
  •          Misinforming or misdirecting clinicians
  •          Falsifying records or events
  •          Interfering with medicine inventory systems

Some of the security concerns that could contribute to one being able to cause such damage include inadequate security training at all levels, the use of antiquated network designs and technologies, and poor security procedures that allow patients and visitors easy physical access to equipment and networks. While such threats have not yet proven to be common, you would think that hospital administrators would take the potential of them very seriously.

More information on the potential risks in the hospital setting can be found here on our site. 

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