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Digital Birth Certificates Could Solve Healthcare Security Issues 

February 8, 2017

Digital 'birth certificates'

A security expert has proposed enforcing the use of “digital birth certificates” to protect medical devices and patient data.

Digital 'birth certificates'The breadth and scope of cyber attacks have increased in recent years. It is now not only consumer PCs, enterprise networks, or government agencies which are the intended targets of individual attackers or state-sponsored groups; instead, mobile products, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and medical devices are now also under scrutiny.

Patient data breaches which release the personally identifiable information (PII) of patients are the most common types of attacks which hit the headlines. As in the cases of the UK National Health Service (NHS) data breach which released the PII of HIV sufferers, a US government subcontractor which accidentally exposed the data of medical military personnel and health insurer Anthem’s data breach, such incidents cause outrage and can be serious for users.

However, when attackers compromise medical devices, this can also lead to denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, medication tampering, and vulnerable devices becoming the avenue for greater and more debilitating attacks on medical and enterprise networks.

Speaking to ZDNet, Jim DeLorenzo, solutions manager at Thales e-Security said that as a greater range of IP-enabled medical devices come online, “security will be a very big issue” — and internet connections lay at the heart of potential problems.

Once a device is plugged in and is given Wi-Fi capabilities — such as medical devices which allow patients to record their data or control a device through mobile applications — a path is paved for attackers should a device be vulnerable to exploit.

One solution, DeLorenzo says, to enforce so-called “digital birth certificates” in modern medical devices. Digital birth certificates are signatures based on strong cryptographic protocols which create unique identification patterns for each medical device at the time of manufacture.

Read More – Source: Medical device ‘birth certificates’ could solve healthcare security woes | ZDNet

By Charlie Osborne

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