Security for Mobile and Cloud Frontiers in Healthcare

In an article in the most recent issue of the Communications of the ACM, the authors (Kotz, Fu, Gunter and Rubin) state:

The benefits of healthcare IT will be elusive if its security challenges are not adequately addressed. Security remains one of the most important concerns in a recent survey of the health and mHealth sectors, and research has illustrated the risks incurred by cyber-attacks on medical devices such as pace-makers. More than two-thirds (69%) of respondents say their organization’s IT security does not meet expectations for FDA-approved medical devices.

Privacy protection is also critical for healthcare IT; although this column focuses on security, it should be noted that many security breaches lead to disclosure of personal information and thus an impact on patient privacy.

The authors identify three critical research challenges:

  • Usable authentication tools
  • Trustworthy control of medical devices
  • Trust through accountability

For more information on the challenges facing securing healthcare IT please see Communications of the ACM.

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