HC3 Issues Report Highlighting Benefits And Risks Of New Health Technologies

The Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center (HC3) has released a report emphasizing some of the concerns associated with some of the most promising new technologies that have the potential to transform clinical research, the monitoring and delivery of treatment, connectivity, data analysis, and data security. New technologies have the capability to completely transform the healthcare sector. Although these technologies have a lot of potential advantages, they also carry a danger of compromising patient privacy and safety. If vulnerabilities are not adequately fixed, malicious actors may use them to access internal systems or sensitive health information, endangering patient safety.

According to the HC3, artificial intelligence is a technology that mimics human activity , decision-making, and learning. Artificial intelligence can offer several advantages to the health sector including providing an analysis of big data sets which can lead to accelerated clinical decisions, improved patient insights, connecting disparate health data, new drug discovery and preventative medicine, improved medical devices, and improved efficiency of operations. However, concerns have been raised by cybersecurity experts regarding the safety of the technology. Artificial intelligence requires the acquisition of a significant collection of data in order to operate. End-to-end encryption and strong access restrictions must be in place to safeguard the data supplied to these systems while it is at rest and while it is in motion. In some cases, such as when de-identified data is coupled with data from other sources, AI systems may be able to re-identify patients using de-identified data.

Fifth Generation Cellular network technology (5G New Radio) provides the health sector with approximately 10 to 100 times faster cellular connection than typical cellular connections, along with a reduced latency and customized networks. A considerably wider variety of wearable and Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) devices will be supported by 5G networks. However, there are security concerns that must be addressed. Data stored on IoMT devices must be protected with entire disk encryption, and data transported across 5G networks must be adequately secured. Furthermore, 5G devices must authenticate before joining networks. HC3 has emphasized the significance of establishing a cybersecurity bill of materials to provide healthcare organizations with the ability to correctly evaluate the security of equipment.The HC3 has also detailed the use of nanomedicine. The provision of medication to particular cells by nanotechnology has the potential to transform the way illnesses are treated. However, concerns have been raised over the potential for threat actors to “hack humans” in bioterrorist attacks by disabling nanodevices in Ddos attacks. 

While these emerging technologies can provide great benefits to the health sector such as improved patient outcomes and reduced medical costs, the vulnerabilities in each of the technologies must be adequately evaluated and addressed to ensure patient privacy and safety.