14 Jan 2016

The advancement of technology rolls on and with it the need to modernise working practices in healthcare and medical environments, but with these new technologies come new risks.

Writing for Hospital Healthcare Europe, BLM solicitor Lisa Dalgleish, has examined “medjacking”, the use of malicious software, “malware”, as a means to launch a cyber attack on healthcare systems.

“Medical devices have emerged as a new target for cyber attacks. In a report published in June 2015, one cyber defence company reported a case at an unnamed hospital where hackers were able to plant malware in surgical blood gas analysers. The hackers then used the equipment as a back door to find passwords throughout the hospital’s IT systems and leak sensitive information.

“The information that healthcare providers hold is more valuable than payment card information held by retailers. Credit card information has a relatively short shelf life. Cards can be cancelled with relative ease and new cards are issued on a regular basis. Health organisations often have complete profiles of people including national insurance numbers and medical health information that is impossible to change in light of a data breach. Health data attacks give hackers the information they need to commit identity fraud and organisations are vulnerable if their security systems are not sufficiently robust.”

You can read the article in full on the Healthcare Hospital Europe website (subscription required), or you can read Lisa’s comments as part of BLM’s healthcare trends and emerging risks update.

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Disclaimer: This document does not present a complete or comprehensive statement of the law, nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight issues that may be of interest to customers of BLM. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in any particular case.

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