Medical Devices Susceptible to Incursion

Your patients trust that you have their best interests at heart, especially when you're implanting devices like pacemakers so close to their hearts. They believe that under your expert care, they will have a better chance at becoming happy and healthy, just like they were in what they have called their prime.

It is your absolute responsibility to make sure that the programs and devices you use to assist your patients in their efforts to regain their health cannot be compromised. With cybersecurity researchers discovering new vulnerabilities every day in pacemakers and other devices, cybersecurity in healthcare has never been more crucial.

Compromised Medical Devices

Dark Reading reports that "more than half of medical device makers and healthcare delivery organizations anticipate an attack on their medical devices within the next 12 months, but only a smattering take significant steps to prevent it."

Since WannaCry hit the global cyber waves in May, IT healthcare professionals and healthcare CIOs have been apprehensive about the security of patient medical devices. According to Healthcare IT News, for the cybercriminal, "pinpointing connected medical devices is as easy as running a Google search. Instead of tapping one of the big search engines like Bing, Yahoo or Google, the tool of choice is Shodan. Shodan enables [hackers] to find medical devices and determine whether they can get in, or not."

For those unfamiliar with the search engine, Shodan helps web users find specific types of computer devices (including, servers, routers, webcams, laptops, smart devices, medical devices, etc.) and keep track of how they are used and where they are connected. The search engine prides itself on being "the world's first search engine for internet-connected devices."

Many pacemakers and healthcare devices like it are wireless-enabled, essentially turning the medical devices into tiny computers that are implanted in a patient's body. With Internet of Things (IoT) devices come under constant attack by cybercriminals, it's only a matter of time before they come after internet-connected medical devices.

What the Experts Say!
Mac McMillan, CEO of CynergisTek says that the digital incursion of medical devices isn't \"[rocket] science. Pretty much anybody can do this. [The Internet of Things] is how simple it is for the bad guys to find the devices out there.\" The first thought that might come to mind to remedy this situation is patching the vulnerabilities and running routine diagnostics tests.

Healthcare IT News writes that it isn't that cut and dry, "patching won't solve all security problems or plug every hole that ransomware such as WannaCry as well as other exploits might leverage-but this new attack calls to light just how important it is."

Investing in a cybersecurity plan with CyberPolicy is only half of what it takes to protect your patients and your practice. The other half is instituting robust cybersecurity measures and following the best cybersecurity practices.

Failing to arm yourself with a cybersecurity action plan or cyber insurance could mean the end for you. To learn more about cybercrime and how to guard your patients against it, visit CyberPolicy today.

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