The fifth generation of wireless technology, also known as 5G, has been highly anticipated by organizations across the globe. Its super-fast mobile speeds will enable instantaneous communication and ensure reliable connectivity, with overwhelmingly positive ramifications for the healthcare industry. Whereas 4G could transport data to and from 100,000 devices per square kilometer, 5G’s ultra-fast download speeds allow a million devices to send and receive data across that same distance. This enhanced speed and reliability will open a lot of doors in the medical profession, but those open doors can also result in a healthcare cybersecurity problem for these organizations.
5G Benefits to Healthcare
While the healthcare industry has seen impressive innovation in medical devices over the years, they are often limited by the speed of the technology that powers them. With reliable internet services as a hallmark of 5G, medical professionals can look forward to greater availability and improved functioning of medical devices.
5G services will also spur an improvement in access to healthcare. Residents in remote rural areas who are unable to drive long distances for quality medical care are often relegated to less qualified professionals or denied the services of medical specialists. With 5G, state-of-the-art medical care can extend to isolated rural areas thanks to the improved access to broadband internet, enabling telemedicine to expand the reach of healthcare providers.
One of the greatest advantages of 5G is lower latency, the time between sending and receiving data requests to a device. This is critical for important advances in medical technology. Virtual reality and augmented reality systems will significantly enhance rehabilitation services, made possible by the latency of near-zero data response time. Remote surgery is another technology that will move from science fiction to real-life, thanks to the advances of 5G.
5G Risks to Healthcare
While 5G was heralded to be more secure than its 4G predecessor, research revealed several significant vulnerabilities in 5G networks that allow cybercriminals to launch potentially devastating attacks. 5G security for healthcare must be a priority as the medical community increases its reliance on 5G to power its emerging technologies.
Using 5G, hackers can track a victim’s real-time location, which presents obvious security risks. This same process allows cybercriminals to send false emergency alerts, which can potentially cause chaos on a massive scale. Another attack can completely disconnect a 5G-connected device from the network or downgrading the connection to a lower-security standard, allowing hackers to carry out surveillance attacks using “stingray” equipment.
Even worse, all of these new potential attacks could be carried out by anyone with basic knowledge of 4G and 5G networks and access to an inexpensive software-defined radio. Medical institutions must invest in healthcare cybersecurity to ensure the integrity of their networks and, ultimately, the safety of their patients.
About Connected Risk Solutions
At Connected Risk Solutions, we use our expertise and experience to provide insurance information and programs to those who serve long-term care and senior living facilities. Since 2007, we’ve been offering insurance and risk management plans designed to help our agents give their clients the ability to achieve continued growth while simultaneously protecting against loss, containing costs and increasing profitability. With three offices to serve you in Chicago, Illinois; Phoenix, Arizona; and Burlington, Connecticut, we do everything we can to make your experience with us as professional and transparent as possible. To learn more, contact us at (877) 890-9301.