Senior Living Provider Alert: Industrial System Dangers Reported

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 15 February 2013

When evaluating senior care facilities, this report indicates that a question about what systems are in place and how they're controlled may be worth asking.McKnight’s Long-Term Care News & Assisted Living reports that a widely used Honeywell product used in many senior care facilities has a dangerous flaw.

Per the article, published today on the McKnight’s site, computer security experts found that a flaw in the system allows “unauthorized control of [senior living] buildings’ key systems” via the internet. Many senior communities have an ICS, or industrial control system, which operates essential functions like “heating and cooling, elevators, alarms or medical equipment,” according to the piece. Communities with these systems — or any Niagra-branded hardware/software products sold by Honeywell — are warned to be especially vigilant about this security risk. The article also recommends facilities who use small wireless medical devices, not just large IC systems, to be on guard for unauthorized control from a remote location.

The article reports that a fix would be released by this coming Wednesday at the latest.

We’ve shared many blog posts about the signs of quality care and things to look for when evaluating senior living communities for a loved one. This news report indicates that a question about what type of systems are in place at the facility and how they are secured/controlled may be worth adding to the list.



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