School of Computer and Information Science, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia
Hospital and general practice healthcare providers today rely heavily on the information and communication technologies they employ to provide access to patient and associated data. The continuing migration to wireless means of data transfer has afforded system users more convenient and timely access to information via the use of 802.11 based wireless network capable devices. Through the increased digital connectivity of these internet and wireless based networks, new avenues of criminal activity such as medical identity theft have been steadily increasing as malicious individuals and organisations seek to abuse the digital ubiquity of the electronic medical record. The increased need for vigilance, protective measures and tightened security policy surrounding patient data practices concerning the use of wireless devices has never been greater. This paper discusses the potential patient and organisational ramifications of medical identity theft through wireless networks and other means as well as suggesting possible risk mitigation strategies to counteract such unauthorised information access.