News today that Community Health Systems, a national hospital network that operates 206 hospitals across the United States, was the victim of a cyber attack that resulted in the theft of 4.5 million patients. According to CNN Money, hackers gained access to patient names, Social Security numbers, physical addresses, birthdays and telephone numbers. The breach affects anyone who received treatment from a physician’s office tied to a Community Health Systems network-owned hospital in the last five years. The FBI is investigating the breach. Community Health Systems’ hospitals operate in 28 states but have their most significant presence in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas. Help Net Security has a panel of experts comment. The consensus is that the healthcare sector is more in the cross hairs for sophisticated attacks that are intended to steal personal information that can be used for identity theft scams. Read more over at CNN Money: Hospital network hacked, 4.5 million […]
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FDA: Regulators Can’t Scale To Police Mobile Health Apps
A senior advisor to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tossed cold water on speculation that the Agency might try to police mobile health and wellness applications, saying the FDA couldn’t possibly scale up to meet the challenge of policing the hundreds of new apps appearing every month. Correction: The article was changed to clarify Mr. Patel’s comments. He was not responding to a direct question about the FDA setting up an office to regulate mobile health applications. He was commenting on the possibility of creating a platform to evaluate and rate mobile health applications. Also, he said “It’s not do-able,” not “it’s not possible.” We apologize for any confusion created by the article. – PFR July 10, 2014. The sheer pace of innovation in the mobile health application space and the numbers of such applications already available on mobile marketplaces like the iTunes App Store and Google Play mean that many mobile health applications will escape scrutiny by federal […]
No Silver Bullet For Securing The Internet Of Things
On Wednesday we wrapped up the first-ever Security of Things Forum (SECoT) here in Boston, which was a great success. During a full day of talks and panel discussions, there was a lot of discussion – both on the stage and in the audience. Here are some (high level) take aways from the event: The Internet of Things will be different – really different The combination of technologies that we refer to as the Internet of Things is going to be transformative in ways that are profound. As I said in introductory comments: I see the net effect of this next phase of the Internet as being a leap forward, rather than incremental change – less “invention of the printing press” and more “invention of writing and counting systems.” Like Internet v.1, the exact direction that the Internet of Things will take is unclear. What is clear is that it […]
Cisco Pledges $300k For Next Big Thing In Internet of Things Security
Most folks are still trying to figure out what “security” in the context of “The Internet of Things” actually means. But that didn’t stop Cisco Systems from throwing down a challenge to the tech sector: develop security solutions that address problems specific to The Internet of Things and win a cash prize. In a blog post, Chris Young, a Senior Vice President in Cisco’s Security Group, announced The Internet of Things Security Grand Challenge, saying the contest would offer “visionaries, innovators, and implementers…the opportunity to define a future of a secure IoT,” and pledging up to $300,000 in prizes and awards up to $75,000 for six winners. Cisco has set its sights on the emerging “Internet of Things” in a big way – leveraging its deep roots as a networking infrastructure provider to carriers and enterprises, and ancillary businesses such as set top boxes and low-cost networking equipment for […]
Are Wearables The Future Of Authentication?
CIO Magazine has an interesting round-up piece that looks at the enterprise impact of wearable technology, which you can read here. Much of this is what you’d expect: FitBit, Google Glass and the (coming) tsunami of smart watches that will soon wash over us. The Cliff’s Notes version is that adoption of wearables will be rapid in verticals that are positioned to leverage the technology early on – such as healthcare and retail. But the piece argues that enterprises risk ‘missing’ the wearable wave in the same way that they ‘missed’ (or at least didn’t plan for) the mobile computing revolution. What might planning entail? Pilots, apparently – maybe of Google Glass or a competing technology. [Read more Security Ledger coverage of wearable technology. ] An interesting side note concerns a possible enterprise ‘killer app’ for wearables; authentication. The article quotes Forrester Analyst J.P. Gownders saying that wearable technology, with integrated biometric […]