Mobile Devices, Apps Open For Attacks

Erin McCann | Healthcare It News | July 30, 2014

'That's like saying because I spoke in French and you don't understand French, it's secure'

In many ways, mobile device security is an oxymoron in its current state. In fact, if you're using an Internet of Things-type device, chances are it has an average of 25 hidden vulnerabilities, according to new research, making it a ripe target for hackers.  That's according to a new HP-led study that sheds light on the alarming number of connected devices with serious security weak spots. As the data reveals, a whopping 70 percent of all commonly used mobile devices and apps have these vulnerabilities.

In the study, HP researchers scanned 10 of the most common IoT devices, identifying 250 total security concerns. And although the devices tested included products from TV, webcam, remote power outlets and home alarm manufacturers, unprotected health data contained on apps was a concern.  These vulnerabilities essentially render consumer health information unprotected and available for the taking, officials pointed out. The numbers are significant.

Currently, there are more than 100,000 health-related apps just available via smartphones. As consumers use more and more mobile health apps to store certain medical data, they're still, for the most part, unaware that security is lacking. Many of these devices, for instance, are transmitting the unencrypted data over the consumer's network...