The Medical Field Must Increase Cyber Security

The Medical Field Must Increase Cyber Security

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A recent report done on cyber security in healthcare concluded that the increased access to data creates more opportunities for security vulnerabilities in the medical device sector. Medical analysts state that the healthcare, pharma, and medical device sectors are particularly susceptible to cyberattacks. Devices like insulin pumps, heart pacemakers, inhalers, and wearables track patient data in real-time and even transmit to the user’s phone, making the data immediately accessible to both the patient and their doctor. The more medical devices become connected to each other via remote medicine, the harder it will be to ensure the security of private patient information. 

“Medical history cannot be changed, unlike identification and credit card information, making it invaluable to hackers and resulting in high costs for healthcare data breaches,” said medical analyst at GlobalData, Ashley Clarke. Clarke informs that hackers can use healthcare information to create fake insurance claims, buy and sell medical equipment, or acquire illegal prescription medications. stressed that according to reports of breaches by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights, over 41 million individuals in the US were affected by healthcare data breaches in 2021.

“This change in technology means that medical device companies and their business associates are now responsible for increasingly large amounts of sensitive electronic patient data and have fallen prey to a significant amount of data breaches in recent years,” said Clarke.

Without securing all components of the cybersecurity value chain, medical device companies will remain a primary target for hackers

Clarke adds that “It’s crucial for companies to invest in a variety of technologies such as chip-based security, network security, and cloud security, at every stage of the product development to ensure patient information is safeguarded. Older legacy devices may be unable to receive security patches, but new devices should have a security update plan in place for their entire device lifecycle.”

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