With the ever-expanding technology ecosystems of organizations, including the proliferation of Wi-Fi-enabled technology and interconnected smart devices, it’s no surprise that cybersecurity risks have increased. With a similar expansion of internet-of-medical-things, medical devices are increasingly at the forefront of potential threats. Last June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned patients and health care providers that certain insulin pumps were being recalled because of vulnerabilities that could allow an outsider to connect and change a nearby pump’s settings. Hackers themselves have been sounding the alarm about these kinds of potential attacks, but doctors, hospitals and manufacturers have been slow to respond, due to limited resources and limited understanding of the threats and risks.
You’ve probably heard the buzz about the Internet of Things (IoT) – a suite of emerging technologies that promises great value to businesses, individuals and society. As broadband internet and Wi-Fi capable devices become more readily available, and reduced costs in technology supply chain fuel innovation, the number of IoT devices and applications is estimated to grow into the billions. What’s more, the nature and applicability of IoT is constantly evolving. According to the Government Accountability Office, IoT “can be used in almost any circumstance in which human activity or machine function can be enhanced by data collection or automation.” IoT is clearly the future, enabling new efficiencies and technological capabilities for businesses looking to grow and compete in a competitive marketplace. But before businesses jump into this next big thing, it’s critical to understand exactly what IoT is and how it will impact data security and privacy issues.