Sometimes healthcare and technology go hand in hand to make our lives healthier and safer. Online databases, for example, have made it easier for medical professionals to share vital information and even analyze health information to better predict medical trends. Technology has also improved the patient experience by making some procedures less invasive and less uncomfortable.
But then again, technology can open up a whole world of security flaws that medical providers then have to manage. Below CyberPolicy will analyze a few medical advancements and their consequences. Of course, if you take cybersecurity in healthcare seriously, you may want to invest in a cyber insurance policy to protect your organization from financial harm.
Invasion of the Body Hackers
A rather astonishing technology known as Wired Muscle, developed by researchers at the University of Tsukuba in Japan and Sony Computer Science Lab, can actually allow muscles from two different bodies to communicate with each other "as if you were a puppet, choreographed with invisible strings."
How does this work? "It's a system comprised of electrical sensors and stimulators that connect the muscles from two different bodies," reports Co.Design. "Allowing them to be mirrored or even coordinated to work together."
One possible application for Wired Muscle is through physical therapy, helping patients rehabilitate muscles, walk again more easily or develop new motor skills. Pretty fascinating stuff.
Then again, the ability for an external agent to affect our muscle movements could call for worry. Lead researcher from the University of Tsukuba Jun Nishida says there are real security risks.
"Now our devices are connected by a wire, but it can be by wireless LAN," Nishida says. "If the communication path is hijacked by someone else, you will lose control of your body."
That's terrifying! Could someone hack your body to make you perform an action against your will? Could someone hurt you using your own body in an irresponsible or malicious way? As technology advances, it could be harder to tell science fiction from science fact.
In fact, researchers have already patched security gaps in Internet of Things pacemakers which made them vulnerable to altered pacing or life-threating defibrillation. More connected devices could mean more security gaps and greater chances of body hacking or suspicious monitoring by cybercriminals.
Wearables, for instance, are often connected to a phone that contains a users' work email, personal information and sometimes even medical information. If a hacker deems this a hot target, they could exploit it in any number of ways: tracking a victim's movements, breaching their data, infiltrating their offices, etc.
While we are fortunately seeing a surge in technology, we are unfortunately experiencing a lag in cybersecurity to ensure that these web-connected devices are resistant to cyberattack. Therefore, it is absolutely imperative that medical providers understand cybersecurity risks in healthcare and do everything they can to keep patients safe.
For starters, health organization should invest in cyber insurance to protect themselves and their patients from the financial ravages of cyberattack. Visit CyberPolicy for your free quote today!