Smart Home

Hospital Security Endangered by Free WI-FI and IoT Integration

UK healthcare buildings could face cyber security risks after UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt promised in December 2015 to spend the £1 billion National Health Service technology fund to equip the facilities with free WI-FI by 2010.

“One of the founding principles of the NHS was to ensure that everyone – irrespective of means, age, sex, or occupation—should have equal opportunity to benefit from the best and most up to date medical and allied services available,” explained Martha Lane Fox, who put forward the proposal. “In the network age, universality, equity, and quality must be at the very center of how we build, adopt and scale new technologies in health.”

Health Secretary Hunt identified the initiative as “a key priority for this Government.” The digital addition seeks to encourage patients to use apps to monitor their condition, simplify the communication process between doctors and patients, and reduce administrative tasks and costs.

IoT is not yet secure due to the high number of entry points, so there are some drawbacks to this initiative. When the measures are implemented throughout the country, data privacy and risk assessment should be the top concern. It may be difficult to identify vulnerabilities when so many devices connect to each other in the presence of rogue networks. If proprietary information is sent via such networks or medical devices break or are stolen, the country could face an issue of national security, especially if medical records of officials are involved.

About the author

Luana PASCU

From a young age, Luana knew she wanted to become a writer. After having addressed topics such as NFC, startups, and tech innovation, she has now shifted focus to internet security, with a keen interest in smart homes and IoT threats. Luana is a supporter of women in tech and has a passion for entrepreneurship, technology, and startup culture.