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Security on Data at Healthcare Facilities Goes Beyond Just Medical Records – The Software run Air Conditioning Systems

Posted Jul 09 2009 4:45pm

Security personnel and the companies used to provide this service too are getting smarter when it comes to data.  This man was arrested by the FBI with an attempt to take over the air conditioning system, which is run by software.  Imagine a building with no air and what it would do to all the medical equipment that relies on constant temperatures to function.  This is just one more example of needing the “smart people” with some IT background in key positions everywhere and the need for further education in this area as software is running about 95% of the decision making processes we used today.  BD image

This tale may make you put down your coffee and verify how tightly you protect computer servers at your hospital and any leased facilities.

The FBI arrested a man whom authorities said hacked into a Dallas healthcare building's IT system and was prepared to take over the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system. The suspect, who worked as an overnight security officer for the site, allegedly had bigger plans of using the compromised computers to instigate a massive attack on other computers elsewhere.

Consider asking your own security director and emergency planner about this type of scenario, or better yet, have them conduct a drill on it. As you'll see, the details truly meet the popular notion of "pushing the envelope" with drill scenarios.

McGraw's immediate actions could have allowed him to shut down the HVAC system at a Dallas building which contains the Carrell Clinic orthopedics facility and North Central Surgical Center. A loss of air-conditioning in the hot Texas weather could have threatened the safety of patients, staff members, and visitors. McGraw "did jeopardize [the HVAC] system," Colvin said. "It's frightening."

McGraw worked at the building as a contracted security officer and was employed by United Protective Services, Inc., in Dallas, according to authorities.

HVAC System Allegedly Compromised by Hacker—Who is Also a Security Officer - www.healthleadersmedia.com

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