Based on a recent study conducted by Palo Alto Networks, the are a large number of devices in hospitals that are running on outdated and unsupported operating systems. The fact is operating systems, especially Windows 7 in many of these cases, aren’t supported for as long a period as the actual lifespan of imaging machines and other complex medical equipment. This issue isn’t relegated to just the medical industry, as connecting devices with outdated OS’s is one of the most significant hurdles overall in putting the internet of things to work across all industries. The article that follows takes a deeper dive into some of the actions that medical providers can take when trying to connect their devices securely.
You’d think that mammography machines, radiology systems, and ultrasounds would maintain the strictest possible security hygiene. But new research shows that a whopping 83 percent of medical imaging devices run on operating systems that are so old they no longer receive any software updates at all.
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.