Because of the possible broad applications of the Internet of Things, all industries and users have to pay attention to potential security hazards, especially when personal information is at risk. The FBI addressed some of the dangers of leaving healthcare on unprotected devices as part of a greater series of risks that this technology brings with it, factoring into home automation and office maintenance, among other sectors.
Although the notice, released through the Internet Crime Complaint Center, specifically references consumer defense against these risks, its protective measures also apply to those managing these devices in a larger professional setting. Devices that are enabled for IoT performance should run off of isolated networks, be purchased from reputable manufacturers and updated to meet the latest security add-ons.
Describing the possible effects of a healthcare IoT breach, the source asserts that criminals can modulate important functions, posing a physical risk as well as a threat to data safety. As one safety measure, it advises patients to "be informed" about medical devices they use at home.
"Once criminals have breached such devices, they have access to any personal or medical information stored on the devices and can possibly change the coding controlling the dispensing of medicines or health data collection," the statement warns. "These devices may be at risk if they are capable of long-range connectivity."
For help avoiding HIPAA violations and other IT security risks, providers should turn to healthcare consulting firms familiar with regulatory compliance. Government alerts like this can spark the need for more thorough review of IT methods to prevent possible attacks.