Instructor: David Schuff, Section 003

Medical Imaging Devices can be hacked too

hacker photo

Cybersecurity researchers in Israel found out that hacks against Medical Imaging devices are increasing where hacks targeting MRI and CT scanning have the greatest risk. The reason these cyber attacks pose a huge risk is that they can be fatal if a tumor is added in error or there is any delay of analysis. Unfortunately for the hospital staff and patients, strict regulations don’t allow to keep these machines updated due to potential software incompatibility and bugs. System thinking can and should be applied in order to effectively solve many of security threats in the healthcare industry. Hackers tend to understand human habits and the interdependence of systems which allows them to exploit multiple systems in one breach. In order for security to improve, medical IT employees should start viewing their systems as interdependent structures rather than separate systems when configuring and implementing new technologies. While it’s incredibly hard to manage risk of code defects, hospitals can use system thinking to minimize potential breaches by keeping their systems updated and ensuring that the entire system is configured in an isolated manner while flexible enough to work with other systems at the same time. How do you think hospitals can address this issue using system thinking?

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One Response to Medical Imaging Devices can be hacked too

  • Tym – you mention that “hackers tend to understand human habits and the interdependence of systems which allows them to exploit multiple systems in one breach,” and go on to say “in order for security to improve, medical IT employees should start viewing their systems as interdependent structures rather than separate systems when configuring and implementing new technologies.” These two statements conflict with one another – if hackers understand system interdependence, how can we build a stronger wall of defense? I think it’s all a matter of healthcare providers shifting focus from yesterday’s security threats to tomorrow’s security threats, understanding the cyber landscape they are playing in and how they can best uphold the integrity of their patient’s information and care.

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