Medical diagnostic imaging devices are part of the medical equipment and supplies that greatly improve patient treatment and care. X-ray technology has turned out to be vital in modern medical treatment. These digital devices are networked with other devices and accessed through a computer workstation. Therefore, it makes them more prone to cyber threats. The attacks can have severe effects on patient care. They can result in canceled surgeries, patient transfers, redirected ambulances, and other problems. It results in delayed patient care.
Radiology departments and imaging centers require a complete approach to cybersecurity on medical devices. At Great Lakes Imaging, we offer both hardware and software tools coupled with professional services to help manage and ensure the safety of your medical equipment and supplies.
Let’s talk about cybersecurity in radiology.
Statistics indicate that 93% of healthcare organizations have been victims of cyber threats over the past three years, with hospitals accounting for about 30% of all attacks.
Attackers can install malware that controls the whole imaging operation putting the patient at risk. They can also install malware on the host computer, empowering them to attack the MIDs’ mechanical motors that receive instructions from a control unit.
Additionally, hackers can interrupt the imaging results. A CT sends scanned results through a host computer. Therefore, an attack on the host computer could interrupt the patient’s results, requiring a repeat exam.
A more serious attack might alter the results or confuse a transmission and attach images to the wrong patient. These attacks may increase since attackers develop more advanced skills, and these devices mostly get installed on outdated PCs.
MRI and CTs systems aren’t designed well to prevent attacks. It is because their development process takes about three to seven years from development to market.
Over that period, cyber-threats can significantly change, leaving medical imaging devices very vulnerable.How To Protect Your Radiology Equipment
Radiologists and physicians have relied on wireless networks and mobile devices at home to work remotely due to the pandemic. However, these networks and devices are not attack-proof without the right measures put in place to secure them. Radiology devices are prone to cyber-threats, and therefore manufacturers and healthcare providers should be more attentive in protecting them. Securing radiology, other medical equipment, and related workstation servers require great attention to several technical and cultural problems, and this is why you need experts to assist.
The IT department can take some measures to protect the medical equipment from an attack. However, many security breaches occur due to human error. For example, some emails might look deceivingly official. But immediately you click on a link, you open your organization to cyber threats.
Human behavior is a critical tool for avoiding cybersecurity threats, and vigilance is the key. To use it to your advantage, implement suitable security systems, like AI (artificial intelligence) solutions. These systems are designed to recognize patterns and automatically protect data while expecting and identifying any suspicious activity.
If hackers attack systems at different times in different ways, AI solutions will automatically protect your network as well as patient data. Also, particularly in this remote healthcare era, it’s advisable to have additional protection for all mobile devices used by staff. Mobile devices are helpful to radiologists, but they pose a great threat to the privacy and security of your network.
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Whether you need pediatric, veterinary, chiropractic, or ultrasound equipment and supplies, our professional at Great Lakes Imaging will guide you through your sourcing, installation, and even maintenance processes. Reach out to us today to discuss what we can do for you.