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Insights Insights
| 1 minute read

Home Healthcare Causes Cyber Attack Worries

A federal working group that studies cyber issues as part of the Department of Homeland Security warns that telehealth and in-home health monitoring may increase vulnerability to cyber attack in the healthcare system. The proliferation of wearable and in-home smart devices, and communicating with patients across their home (consumer-grade) Wi-Fi networks, may mean both that more data are being moved around and that they are in less secure environments. Manufacturers and providers are being encouraged to think of home and remote healthcare in the same way they approach enterprise security: with redundant security and multi-level protections. This might mean securing individual devices and also securing transmission networks, for example.

Why It Matters

Many countries (including the US) have a large aging population, and the pandemic allowed remote healthcare delivery to find its moment. In addition, consumers increasingly are connected at home and have multiple devices connected to their Wi-Fi. All of this increases the number of pathways available for a threat actor to try to penetrate healthcare systems. In essence, the outer perimeter of a provider's system must now include the home of the patient, where the network and devices may not be under the control of the provider.  

The theft of data from in-home technology across potentially unsecured wireless networks is a big concern for the Healthcare and Public Health Sector Coordinating Council Cybersecurity Working Group. The organization collaborates with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to prevent cyberattacks across the healthcare industry. “All of these [technologies] are increasing the attack surface,” said Greg Garcia, the group’s executive director. “All of that uncontrolled technology outside of the hospital that connects into the hospital network is where the vulnerability is, whether it’s hospital-at-home or a more simple device like a [smart] watch that can transfer data over to the doctor.”


data security and privacy, hill_mitzi, insights, health care