Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities in Healthcare
Ben Hartwig, Web Operations Executive, InfoTracer gives in a recent article of the Medical Product Outsourcing Magazine (MPO) an overview about the “2020 MedTech Cyberchaos”.
The issue with medical technology is the cybersecurity isn’t up to the level of where it needs to be, and criminals know this. Manufacturers that build these products have a treasure trove of sensitive information on vendors and clients alike. If medical device makers don’t perform their due diligence by conducting a criminal records search on new employees, one bad actor on the inside can steal all their valuable data or give network access to hackers from the outside.
Weak Links in the Medtech Manufacturing Industry
While some medical manufacturers are shoring up their cybersecurity response, others aren’t, and they may be exposing their weak IT infrastructure to cyberattacks. Following are the most vulnerable network points that need immediate attention.
Compromised Cloud Infrastructure
Plenty of medical manufacturers are leveraging the power of the cloud to advance healthcare technology because sharing information with speed and efficiency can save lives. However, the lack of cloud computing professionals working in these companies or the current staff’s lack of knowledge in port data security and legacy systems can lead to holes in the cloud architecture that cybercriminals can exploit. Regular scanning can detect these vulnerabilities, but not all manufacturers are up to the task.
While using open-source software isn’t inherently wrong, developers need to devote their time and effort to make proprietary changes to the code that improves security and locks it down so no one outside the organization can penetrate it. By definition, open-source software means everyone has the same access to the lines of code that make it up. If a lazy developer uses the code “as is” or installs an untested program from an unsecured hard drive, hackers can easily bypass and infiltrate the system.
Poor Internal Security Protocols
Some manufacturers don’t have stringent internal security policies in place to secure the premises from rogue employees and protect their sensitive data. As harsh as it sounds, the weakest link in any organization will always be the employees. This is why the vetting process before hiring should include criminal records search and other checks to ensure the person is legit even before he or she steps inside the building. There should be a culture of data protection instilled in everyone, so no one can make the common mistake of using unsecured freeware, using unsecured WiFi, or responding to phishing attempts. Employees should be informed about tools such as email lookup, and username search that can help them to be protected from common scams.
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