The Department of Veterans Affairs has a history of struggling to secure patient data. Recently, the Office of the Inspector General (IG) and the Government Accountability Office (GAO), highlighted the various security concerns the VA is facing. Although this is a lingering problem for the VA and many other healthcare organizations, there isn’t a clear solution on the horizon – instead, it may get worse.
In January of 2020, Microsoft will end support for Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows Mobile, which will leave millions of connected medical devices vulnerable to cyber attacks. In a recent webinar, Mike Bruchanski, Sr. Director, Product Management at BlackBerry Cylance, discussed how this end of support will impact healthcare organizations and what needs to be done to protect patient data.
“When you look at the current challenges in the industry – when devices do become unsupported, you have to think about who’s responsible for that device, is that device housing patient data, and understanding the large exposure,” said Bruchanski.
The VA and other healthcare organizations need to understand the potentially devastating consequences this loss of support presents. With hospitals housing thousands of connected devices, patient data, and Wi-Fi, it becomes a prime target for bad actors with a vast cyber plane.
“If you walk around and OR or ER, you understand that there are devices in every hospital room. There are wireless networks and they are accessible to a lot of people,” Bruchanski said. Healthcare organizations will need to get ahead of potential risks and protect patient data by understanding risk, evaluating their current security program, and categorizing risk for each device.
“When it comes to a clinical environment, this is a big deal,” explained Bruchanski. But, with the right security application, these bad actors can be stopped. Leveraging AI technology is vital to protecting patient data and devices as this loss of service occurs.
“The real question is security. You no longer have security,” said Bruchanski. “You no longer have changes to that operating system. Because of that, you need an application that will be extremely effective in not only preventing threats that are known today, but previously unknown threats that are going to come on the scene.”
Ready to learn more? Watch the webinar.