A new study reveals that an overwhelming majority of medical imaging devices—83%, to be exact—run on outdated operating systems—a problem compounded by the end of Windows 7 support.
That issue is endemic to Internet of Things devices generally, many of which aren’t designed to receive software improvements or offer only a complicated path to doing so. But medical devices are an especially troubling category for the issue to show up in, especially when the number of devices with outdated operating systems is up 56 percent since 2018. You can attribute most of that increase to Microsoft ending support for Windows 7 in January. As new vulnerabilities are found in the operating system, any device still running it won’t get patches for them.
The findings don’t necessarily mean that 83 percent of medical imaging devices are in immediate danger of attack. It’s possible to manage the risk by making sure vulnerable devices aren’t exposed to the open internet, are protected behind a firewall, and are in a contained part of a network that can be monitored for unusual activity and access. But those measures take planning, and with so many medical imaging devices lurking in healthcare organizations around the world—and so many exposed by old operating systems—the chances are high that not all are adequately protected.
To read more, visit Wired.