Health care network labs that provide care to people with a variety of medical conditions can now be accessed only through a one-way connection, the Federal Communications Commission announced Tuesday.
In a statement, the FCC said the move was designed to prevent hackers from stealing data from the network and spreading it to malicious third parties.
“A simple one-time link change can be used to make sure no one could steal patient information, like medical records, that could be used by malicious parties to infect other devices or interfere with the functioning of the system,” the FCC statement said.
The move means that, in theory, anyone who wants to access a lab or health network lab that’s connected to the internet could only do so using a one way link.
The new rules also require providers of network labs to notify users if a computer network is compromised or if there’s a possible intrusion into the network, the statement said, and will prohibit the use of devices that can be hacked and used to transmit data that could otherwise be intercepted by an intruder.
But the move is expected to have less of an impact on people with less health conditions than those with chronic conditions.
The FCC also said it will continue to monitor the use and misuse of health network labs and the health network networks to ensure that there are no barriers to accessing them.