Former CIA head: Healthcare sector must prioritize cybersecurity

The Internet of Things will increasingly pose security challenges to the healthcare sector, former acting CIA Director Michael Morrell said during a panel at a Bipartisan Policy Center event Wednesday in Washington, D.C., according to CyberScoop.

Mr. Morrell and former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, another panel participant, noted how the healthcare has experienced rapid integration of smart technology since 2008, as well as increased exposure to ransomware, data theft and disruption of connected devices.

Mr. Morrell said cybersecurity across all sectors "is the second-biggest threat facing the U.S. after international terrorism and it's the fastest-growing threat — and the Internet of Things is contributing to that."

Mr. Morrell expressed particular concern over network-connect devices and their vulnerability to hackers, reports CyberScoop. He noted a hacker might infiltrate a network-connected pacemaker, for example, through an internet-connected network, supply chain from the manufacturer or insider manipulation at the hospital.

Panel members acknowledged there are no documented cases of a hacker compromising an individual IoT medical device. However, they agreed lack of existing cybersecurity standards within the healthcare industry could provide hackers an opportunity to target medical devices.  

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