Carleton University and other partners have initiated a project valued at approximately $2 million through the Department of National Defence’s Canadian Safety and Security Program (CSSP) for research on e-health systems security enabled by the Internet of Things (IoT).

The research will be led by Professor Mohamed Ibnkahla.

“Carleton University is proud of Ibnkahla’s leading research in improving the security of our e-health systems,” said Rafik Goubran, vice-president (Research and International). “This research project strengthens Carleton’s leadership in the areas of cybersecurity, telecommunications and biomedical engineering. Resilient e-health systems will have a positive impact on the health and well-being of all Canadians.”

Ibnkahla, NSERC/Cisco senior industrial research chair in Sensor Networks for the Internet of Things, and co-investigators Jason Jaskolka in the Department of Systems and Computer Engineering and Ashraf Matrawy in the School of Information Technology will receive funding over three years to investigate how e-health systems are vulnerable to cyberattacks, especially with the large-scale adoption of IoT devices.

“We are developing a prototype system capable of enhancing the privacy and protection of information, and the resilience of connected devices in the health sector, through the early detection and prevention of cyberattacks,” said Ibnkahla.

Today, health-care providers depend on millions of connected medical devices to deliver cost-effective and lifesaving treatment to patients, and the number of these connected devices is increasing every day. Unfortunately, the incidence of cyberattacks targeting health-care providers is also increasing. For example, in the United States forty-four per cent of registered cybersecurity breaches in 2013 were in the health-care industry, and that went up to 60 per cent in 2014. More than 90 per cent of health-care providers suffered at least one data breach in the last two years. Additionally, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has identified more than 300 medical devices, including drug infusion pumps, insulin pumps, heart pacemakers and anesthesia devices at risk of cyberattacks.

IoT devices are at high risk for privacy breaches because they collect a great deal of personal medical data in addition to being connected to the health-care network, very often providing access to a user’s personal information.

Ibnkahla’s project will provide technological solutions that can be deployed within the Canadian health sector to enable safe, secure and reliable IoT-enabled e-health systems. The project will roll out a real-world demonstration of these new technologies in a hospital. The project will prepare a road map for the security of IoT-enabled e-health systems in Canada which will include a best practices guide for health-care professionals, the medical devices industry and governments.

For more information please see a related story here:

About Mohamed Ibnkahla

Ibnkahla has an international reputation in wireless communications and IoT systems, having published five books and contributed to more than 200 publications. Throughout his career, he successfully applied IoT technologies to environmental monitoring, smart cities, food traceability, smart homes, health care, intelligent transportation systems, smart grids, industrial IoT, and public safety and emergency response. He has a record of collaboration with industry and government partners and an exceptional capability of engaging researchers and end users across multiple disciplines

About the CSSP

The CSSP is a federal program led by the Department of National Defence’s Centre for Security Science, in partnership with Public Safety Canada. It promotes a collaborative approach by supporting projects enabling federal, provincial, territorial or municipal governments to work with first responders and emergency management organizations, non-governmental agencies, industry and academia to identify capability gaps and develop S&T solutions to address these gaps.

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Thursday, July 18, 2019 in
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