Hackers pose increasing threat to health-care system

Cyber criminals increasingly are breaking into computerized equipment operated by hospitals, drug companies and other health-care organizations, a new study has concluded.

Issued Wednesday by the cyber security firm Norse and the SANS Institute, which teaches corporate officials how to combat hackers, the study concluded that cyber attacks on health care operators are rampant and that compromised facilities “are not keeping pace” with the problem.

Following up on  a 2012 study by the Ponemon Institute, which found that 94 percent of the medical organizations it surveyed had been hacked over the previous two years, the Norse-SANS study warned that the problem is worsening as health-care equipment increasingly gets linked to the Internet.

Noting that cyber crooks are accessing health-care data through medical devices, video conferencing systems, printers, web servers and other weak points, the study called the data breaches “alarming” and evidence of “how far behind industry-related cybersecurity strategies and controls have fallen.”

AP photo by Mike Groll

Steve Johnson Steve Johnson (227 Posts)

Steve Johnson covers the microchip industry, cyber security and the big-technology sector that includes Hewlett-Packard, Oracle and Cisco Systems.