Navigation Links
Research finds open-source software is actually more secure for health care IT
Date:3/8/2011

Globally the sale of health care information systems is a multibillion dollar industry. The vast costs, frequent failed systems, and inability of systems to talk to each other regularly attract media comment. However policy makers still shy away from a class of software, Open Source, that could address many of these problems, because of worries about the safety and security of Open Source systems. Now new research by the University of Warwick's Institute for Digital Healthcare, and the Centre for Health Informatics and Multiprofessional Education at UCL Medical School, finds that Open Source software may actually be more secure than its often more expensive alternatives.

Dr Carl Reynolds of UCL's Centre for Health Informatics and Multiprofessional Education said:

"Software bought or otherwise distributed under a licence which require it to come bundled with the source code and the right to freely edit, reuse, and share it is called free or open source software. Such a licensing arrangement leaves the buyer in a very strong position when compared with the usual proprietary licences. The buyer is less prone to lock-in, where a buyer loses the ability to switch software products because of the use of proprietary data formats or restrictive licensing conditions. When the buyer chooses an open or free licence he or she can take the code to a rival code developer if they offer a better deal. If the code is in the public domain, and the user and programmer community are engaged, then the buyer can profit from more people inspecting and fixing the code leading to higher quality source code and in turn software."

Professor Jeremy Wyatt of the University of Warwick's Institute for Digital Healthcare said:

"Critics of Open Source often argue that, because the code is public, an attacker can more easily find and exploit vulnerabilities. But our work at the University of Warwick and UCL shows that the evidence does not bear this out and in fact Open Source Software (OSS) may be more secure than other systems.

"Proprietary systems often rely on a 'security through obscurity' argument, ie that systems that hide their inner workings from potential attackers are more secure. However security through obscurity alone completely fails when code is disclosed or otherwise discovered using tools such as debuggers or dissemblers. Worse, it has been suggested that the cloak of obscurity tends to encourage poor-quality code. Opening the source allows independent assessment of the security of a system, makes bug patching easier and more likely, and forces developers to spend more effort on the quality of their code."

The researchers also refute the argument that using Open Source Software (OSS) is inherently riskier because one automatically becomes liable for any failings of the software. They say that "typically a large organization will pay a contractor for an OSS implementation and support package. Many contractors providing OSS implementation and support offer legal indemnity to clients in exactly the same way as proprietary vendors."


'/>"/>

Contact: Professor Jeremy Wyatt
Jeremy.Wyatt@warwick.ac.uk
44-024-761-51262
University of Warwick
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Research study explores gene therapy treatment to reduce symptoms of Parkinsons disease
2. National Comprehensive Cancer Network and SNM join to advance oncology imaging research
3. LRI awards wide-ranging research grants to drive next generation of scientific discovery in lupus
4. University of South Florida researchers find blood-brain barrier damaged by disease
5. Boston researchers create SMArt platform architecture, launch $5,000 health app competition
6. March of Dimes provides $2.4 million in new funding for preterm birth research
7. Scripps Research and MIT scientists discover class of potent anti-cancer compounds
8. UCLA researchers use nano-Velcro technology to improve capture of circulating cancer cells
9. Helicobacter pylori infection linked to decreased iron levels in otherwise healthy children, according to research at UTHealth
10. Research sheds light on fat digestibility in pigs
11. Aging in place preserves seniors independence, reduces care costs, MU researchers find
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws ... a new product that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula ... , The two main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to Dr. Jessica Scruggs ... for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to include Mohs surgery, ... Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of Glenn Goldstein, MD, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned his Bachelors in ... School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at Scripps Green Hospital ... at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity to train in ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent ... that most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals ... also many of these less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) learned during ... two significant new grants to support its work to advance research and patient ... recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work in fighting pulmonary hypertension ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)...  Collagen Matrix, Inc., ("Collagen Matrix") the driving ... collagen and mineral based medical devices for tissue ... Messer has joined the company as Vice ... growing portfolio of oral surgery, neurosurgery, orthopaedic and ... the Collagen Matrix executive team as an accomplished ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016   Bay Area Lyme ... Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness , ... Rehabilitation, MIT Hacking Medicine, University of California, Berkeley, ... announced the five finalists of Lyme Innovation ... More than 100 scientists, clinicians, researchers, entrepreneurs, and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced ... Applications, Technologies, Forecasts" report to their offering. ... Smart Skin, Structural Health Monitoring, Composite Smart Structures, ... involves electronic and/or electrical components and circuits that ... such as vehicle bodies or conformally placed upon ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: