[ Tuesday, September 13, 2005 ]
In the post below from MSNBC, the author touts the use of wireless technology to let medical testing equipment "talk" to the medical records and automatically insert test results and vital signs. It also talks about physicians using handheld wireless devices. If you are using wireless devices, and if your medical practice or hospital is operating in a WiFi environment, you might want to consider a couple of tips I read recently in an email.
Jeff [5:03 PM]
- Every wireless device has a "machine access code" or MAC address that identifies it to the network. Make sure your wireless network only allows recognized MAC addresses, and keep close ties on whose equipment is accessing the network.
- Even MAC addresses can be spoofed. There was an article I linked to long ago (hell, I'm too lazy to look) where some British hacker dudes figured out how to spoof bluetooth devices to give up their MAC addresses, so that an unauthorized user could fool a receiving bluetooth device into recognizing the unauthorized user as the proper user. So, even with MAC address limitations, you also need passwords and user names to ensure only the right people access your wireless net. That will also allow you to track who is accessing what with what devices.
- Do some war-chalking yourself to test the footprint of your own wireless network. Your network won't fit into square buildings; it probably broadcasts out into public space as well. Test common areas, parking lots, and other spaces near your offices to see if your wireless network's signal is reaching into those areas. You may be stuck with some bleed-out, because if you try to cut the signal back so it doesn't stray into the lobby, you may end up cutting some of your offices out of the wireless network. But as long as you know where your signal is bleeding out, and keep an eye on those areas to ensure that you don't have loiters with laptops hanging out there, your MAC and password protections should give you pretty good protection.
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