Could MRI be hacking opportunity?

By Healthcare Facilities Today
March 4, 2014

Information technology hackers aren’t just attacking websites and networks anymore, they increasingly are attacking the “Internet of Things,” which are devices linked to the Internet, such as a MRI diagnostic imaging machine in a hospital, according to an article on the Health Data Management website.

A new report from the SANS Institute says that the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors will be among the industries experiencing the highest level of attacks involving “things.” 

Compared to traditional I.T. systems, “incidents involving things,” such as a hacked MRI machine, “can carry physical consequences as well as policy and financial impacts,” according to the report. “Virtually all software, applications, systems and devices are now connected to the Internet.”

According to the article, research by Ponemon Institute shows that 94 percent of surveyed medical institutions have suffered a cyber attack. 

“Now, with the push to digitize all health records, the emergence of and an outpouring of electronic protected health information being exchanged online, even more attack surfaces are being exposed in the health care field,” according to the SANS report.

However, the SANS report doesn't break new ground, but helps to focus organizations on widening their scope of protection, said Kate Borten, president at Marblehead Group, a Marblehead, Mass.-based health information technology security consultancy.

For instance, organizations are looking at network security more closely than previously, but not looking closer at the non-traditional information technology equipment such as printers, Borten said in the article. And while organizations are more attentive to inbound filtering to catch malicious activity, they aren't as attentive to outbound filtering to make sure malicious stuff is being sent to others.

Read the article.



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