why software vulnerabilities risk patient safety


The lack of healthcare cybersecurity is one of the most significant threats to the sanctity of the global healthcare industry. This is made evident by the fact that in 2020 more than 18 million patient records were affected by successful cyber-attacks on the U.S. healthcare system.

Health professionals should not take this issue lightly, as financial assets and intellectual property are at risk. Additionally, IT professionals must address healthcare data security issues, i.e., Electronic Health Records (EHRs), while also committing to helping patients overcome the aftermath of healthcare security breaches. In 2021 alone, more than 40 million individual records were breached, and these numbers are increasing.

Let’s see how ICS security vulnerabilities can threaten patient and hospital safety.

The Need for Industrial Control Systems (ICS) in Healthcare Environments

Hospitals routinely deal with high-value sensitive information from patients, doctors, diagnosticians, and other stakeholders. This includes assets with high monetary value like personal identity information, patient’s health information, bank accounts, and credit card numbers.

For our well-being, these systems and processes must function optimally at all times. However, if malicious actors access our healthcare ecosystems, a lot could go wrong, from compromised pacemakers and insulin pumps, to comprehensive data breaches.

Any lack of medical device security can wreak havoc on a healthcare organization. However, the threat often comes from within, in the form of human error, unplanned alterations, and outages, all of which can be dangerous. At the same time, defective software should also get some of the blame. Software vulnerabilities and faulty code on medical devices can endanger patient safety and cybersecurity.

This has led to a greater need for the implementation of Industrial Control System (ICS) security in health care. While “ICS” is an umbrella term that brings to mind factories, and utilities, the ubiquity of these devices in health care facilities raises the need for more security in this area.

Strong ICS security for medical devices would enable health care providers to take…

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