March 9, 2021 - 5:00pm PST

EFF Austin, a local organization in the Electronic Frontier Alliance, (not EFF) will host this event:

Medical Cybersecurity 2021: How Worried Should We be, and What Can We do?

From The Organizers:

Our speaker this month is Owen McNally. Owen is a researcher and technology analyst in Austin, Texas. He is the Chair of the EFF-Austin Cybersecurity workgroup, and the Founder of the Data Science vs COVID project. An enduring theme in his work over recent decades is the analysis and evaluation of technology for usability, quality and ethics based on humanistic principles.

After the news of the infamous Solarwinds hack in recent months, cybersecurity is back on people's minds. For hospitals and healthcare systems, this highly unwelcome news begs the question of whether there is a crisis. There is evidence that bad-actors ramped up their activity significantly against hospitals and healthcare entities after COVID, and if there was serious under-investment in cybersecurity prior to 2020, the problem has very likely intensified since the pandemic.

Owen will present evidence that the background to this increasingly alarming situation can be better understood through three key aspects: (1) very high prices for exfiltrated personal health data on the dark web, (2) both cybersecurity professionals and their trainers are in short supply, with the most cash-strapped hospitals and healthcare systems losing out to better financed organizations, and (3) while technologies such as machine learning/AI, and blockchain may eventually give security professionals and citizens desiring secure and private health information the advantage, for now innovation, disruption and "sandboxing" seem on the side of the criminals. What can be done? Knowing what organizations have legal access to your health information is critical, healthcare system policies about investing in security are perhaps responsive to popular pressure, and good personal information security behavior can reduce some vulnerabilities.


Tuesday, March 9
5:00pm - 7:00pm (PT)


This event is organized not by EFF, but by the EFF Austin, a grassroots group participating in the Electronic Frontier Alliance. The EFA is a network of grassroots organizations across the country committed to promoting digital rights. Together, we're building a movement to promote freedom of expression, privacy, security, creativity, and access to knowledge.