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Why Tech and Medicine Coincide
#1
Hello everybody, my name is [like I’d tell you], but you can call me Legend.  I am certified in First Aid, I will soon be certified in Automated External Defibrillator [AED] use, and Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), although I already know how to use and do these things, respectively.  I will be managing the medical forums here on RedSec, and I thought this would be a good introductory article.

Some of you may be thinking, “Legend, what does medical and cyber stuff have to do with any of the other subjects?”  The answer is, EVERYTHING!  Without cybersecurity, programming, and advancements in technology, medicine would not have progressed much past the 1800’s.  I will be focusing on a major one, the need the medical field has for cybersecurity.

When I first began Sports Medicine as a Sophomore in high school, there was a paper everybody had to sign.  It was a contract saying we would not inform anyone outside of immediate family or otherwise necessary persons of the medical condition of his/her/their loved one, and that if we did so there would be major consequences to deal with (as in federal government consequences).  This is all a result of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, a.k.a. HIPAA.  Since those are some big words and I find them too complicated to remember, I tend to just think “Health Information and Patient Privacy,” because that pretty much sums it up.  Health information’s and the privacy of patients is the reason HIPAA came into place, and everyone in the medical field must know and abide by it, from the lowliest CNA to the Director of Medicine at the freaking Mayo Clinic.  I had an instance where a cheerleader had an extremely minor injury (as in a tiny blister that had popped during JROTC Physical Training) when I first started, and since I knew her boyfriend, I made the newcomer mistake of asking him if she had said anything about it.  He said no and got into a big panic, but I couldn’t tell him what had happened because of HIPAA until the cheerleader gave me permission.  Now, this is a dramatic way to explain what HIPAA entails, but it can pretty much sum up what can happen and can be changed and remain the same.  A football player gets a minor concussion and his friends want the Athletic Trainer/Sports Med Aide to tell them about it, but because of HIPAA, nothing can be said without patient permission.  The President gets a brain tumor and Congress wants to know where he’s been, but POTUS’ doctors can’t say anything without permission from the President or next of kin (if the person is unable to give permission to share medical information, the next of kin, such as a spouse, parent, or attorney if necessary).

This is major in the health field and connects technology to medicine in the most significant way.  Companies, hospitals, and private practices have many patient records in their systems, and they need the best security teams to protect them.  In December of 2017, Henry Ford Health Systems informed people that a hacker had breached their security and had access to the files of up to 18,470 patients [http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/.../171209927].  Possibly the most notable cyber attack on hospitals was the surge of WannaCry Ransomware attacks in 2017, which led to the downfall of many hospitals for weeks at a time while the WannaCry virus held patient information hostage unless the person paid hundreds or thousands of dollars in Bitcoin.  Ultimately, the United States and other world leaders blamed the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea [North Korea] for the attack, although the DPRK denied any involvement.

Medical databases hold thousands of patient’s privacy, and it requires skilled cyber-security experts to protect this information from hackers trying to do harm.  If you are planning on entering the CS field, consider working for a hospital or medical insurance company.  You may be helping others from being exposed.

Thanks for reading.
I am Legend
We are Legion
We do not Forgive
We do not Forget
Expect Us
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