The Most Vulnerable and Hackable Medical Devices

 

The Internet of Things (IoT) adds convenience and capabilities in both personal and professional applications. Smart device usage in the medical field is growing by leaps and bounds: in fact, over 161 million smart devices will be installed by 2020. The demand for these IoT devices is obvious. But what about security concerns?

While these tools can improve patient care, it’s imperative to understand any security concerns as well as the benefits.

Most pieces of equipment that are now smart were once standalone and independent. Now they are part of the network. The IV dispensing medicine and the sensors monitoring vital signs are no longer segregated; they communicate with other devices to exchange data and automate actions.

An integrated network has many benefits for healthcare. It helps care be more responsive, with automated features performing special tasks like adjusting the flow of medication from the IV. It is clearly improving care, but without proper security, the risks can outweigh the rewards.

Without proper security, smart medical devices are easily breachable. To a hacker, they only need one weak device to penetrate a network. The threat is real: McAfee Labs’ Threat Report reveals a 210 percent increase in disclosed security incidents related to healthcare.

This surge means that hackers are finding programs on the network that are vulnerable. In fact, there are some specific areas identified by many in the community to be the most vulnerable, including those running Windows as well as cloud-connected and Bluetooth-enabled devices.

While there are inherent risks with any device on a network, some smart devices are even more vulnerable. Let’s look at some of those that would be a prime target for cyber criminals.

Applications Running Windows

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*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from InfoSec Resources authored by Beth Osborne. Read the original post at: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/infosecResources/~3/kI4pMN9kg8A/