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Cybercriminals Could Sabotage Medical Equipment

IT experts have warned hospitals to be extra vigilant with their online security as cybercriminals have the potential to sabotage crucial medical equipment.

Cybersecurity firm CyberMDX revealed a number of flaws in hospital internet connections means hackers could tap into medical devices used in NHS hospitals, which would have ‘catastrophic’ results, revealed the Daily Mail.

Vice president of marketing at the company John Rabinowitz wrote in a blog post that cyber attacks could “disrupt the flow of electricity to care-critical infusion pumps, falsify pump status information (vital for the nursing staff) and in some cases even alter drug delivery”.

He went on to say they could “potentially harm patients”.

While NHS equipment seems to have been mostly kept safe from cybercriminals so far, professor Alan Woodward, who is a computer expert at the University of Surrey, said the impact would be “catastrophic if successful”.

He told The Times an attack of this sort could be for financial gain, to access information, as a protest, or even just to “see if it can be done”.

The NHS has already suffered from one cyber security breach, when the WannaCry ransomware attack occurred two years ago in May 2017.

Nearly half of NHS hospital trusts suffered system failure as a result of the hacking, leading to 20,000 hospital appointments being cancelled as doctors and nurses were locked out of their computers.

Five hospitals were forced to divert ambulances away; MRI machines and other important medical equipment were temporarily disabled; and 193 potential cancer referrals were postponed.

According to the Department of Health, the crisis cost the NHS £92 million, with £20 million being lost during the incident and a further £72 million spent to deal with the aftermath and to upgrade IT systems across the health service.

For medical equipment hire in a cyber security emergency, get in touch with us today.

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