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Medical Device Cyber Security is Essential

medical device cyber security

No one wants to imagine that their pacemaker or insulin pump can be hacked when their life depends on the proper functioning of these medical devices. However, a recent Ponemon Institute survey discovered that 67 percent of medical device manufacturers and 56% percent of Healthcare Delivery Organizations (HDOs) think an attack on a medical device in use is likely to occur over the next 12 months (2017 Trip Wire). That information provides an added layer of anxiety for patients, medical providers, and manufacturers, and makes medical device cyber security more important than ever.

There is good news, though. In the last 5 years, healthcare providers and manufacturers have made an effort to include cyber attacks in their contingency plans, and put into place resources to mitigate a potential breach. (2017 TripWire)

These well designed security plans for medical device cyber security include:

  • Dedicated budget for cyber security
  • Cyber security professionals included in the staffing headcount
  • Risk assessments regularly performed by healthcare providers
  • Regularly conduct penetration testing
  • Security awareness and training programs made available
  • And much more…

The US Food and Drug Administration has been making inroads to mitigate any potential attacks with updates to security measures and by seeking to formalize guidelines. As with all guidelines, they do not have to be followed. However, if a provider adopts the recommendations, medical device cyber security can be improved, making the industry and the patient less apprehensive. (2017 TripWire) Not to mention the fact that the provider can use these security measures as a competitive advantage.

Want to learn more about cyber security and how it can affect the healthcare industry? IEEE offers both cyber security and ethical hacking training to help corporations prepare. Learn more about institutional pricing and request a quote here.

References

Newman, L. (2017, March 2) Medical Devices Are the Next Security Nightmare. Wired

(2017, August 27) Highs & Lows of Cyber Security in Healthcare. TripWire

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The Prescription Healthcare Needs Now: Stronger Cyber Security

The Prescription Healthcare Needs Now: Stronger Cyber Security from IEEE Educational ActivitiesIf anyone in healthcare technology was feeling sleepy earlier this year, now they must be wide awake. The WannaCry and NotPetya attacks that struck multiple hospitals and healthcare systems within the past few months serve as glaring warnings of the growing cyber threat landscape, along with the costs at stake. While cyber threats are not new, they are not diminishing either. Instead, cyber attackers are working relentlessly to stay ahead of the cyber security curve, eager to thwart hospitals’ defenses by exploiting some weakness that has yet to be patched.

Why is the healthcare industry such a prized target? According to IBM, cyber criminals can use the vast amount of personal information within health records for medical identity theft and fraud, and most healthcare systems are slow to update their cyber security (Zorabedian, 2016). Sophos found in their survey that less than a third of healthcare organizations reported extensive use of encryption, and about a fifth don’t use encryption at all. Yet the hospitals lacking encryption are not the only ones that need to shape up; they share the responsibility with doctors’ offices, insurance companies, and even private employers, who have also been guilty of not encrypting employees’ or clients’ private healthcare information (Zorabedian, 2016).

Aside from implementing more widespread encryption, hospitals need to bolster their defenses by increasing cyber security awareness, adopting more advanced technology, and securing shared networks (Alton, n.d.). These solutions are not without challenges, however, as most hospitals have limited financial resources to dedicate to more personnel or cyber security tools (Calyptix, 2017). Nevertheless, all healthcare staff has a role to play in strengthening their organization’s cyber security. With lives at stake, the risks of lax cyber security are far too great to ignore.

Interested in cyber security training for your organization’s technical professionals? Check out IEEE’s course, Cyber Security Tools for Today’s Environment.

References:

Alton, L. (n.d.). Why the healthcare industry is behind on cyber security. ISACA.

Calyptix. (2017, Jun 13). 10 biggest problems in healthcare cybersecurity. Calyptix Security.

Zorabedian, J. (2016, Apr 26). Why cybercriminals attack healthcare more than any other industry. Naked Security by Sophos.

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Infographic: Healthcare Technology and Internet of Things

The healthcare industry has seen a major shift in its use of technology over the past several decades. Protocol that used to rely on paper and pencil have now been replaced with computers and digital software. Aside from these differences within the hospital, such changes have also affected the way patients communicate with their doctors and monitor their health. The infographic below illustrates some of the major changes in healthcare technology, along with more recent developments related to healthcare technology and Internet of Things.

Infographic: The Evolution of Healthcare technology and Internet of Things from IEEE Educational Activities

Want to find out more about the Internet of Things? Check out IEEE’s Guide to the Internet of Things for more information, and to learn how the healthcare industry is applying Internet of Things concepts.

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New Report: IoT will Help Healthcare Organizations Realize Significant Cost Savings

IEEE Guide to the Internet of Things for HealthcareA recent report from consulting firm Accenture found that the Internet of Things has the potential to offer both healthcare providers and payers significant savings over the next three years. However, only 49 percent of top leadership in healthcare organizations say that they understand what the Internet of Things could mean to their organization, according to the study. Considering that the value of the Internet of Things in healthcare, specifically, could top $163 billion by 2020, it’s important for healthcare organizations to get up to speed quickly on Internet of Things technology for healthcare organizations.

Read the report here.

To learn more about how healthcare organizations can integrate the Internet of Things, check out the new IEEE Guide to the Internet of Things online learning program, which has three modules specifically dedicated to the Internet of Things in healthcare. It’s a convenient way to learn about this emerging technology, and begin to create the strategy to integrate this technology into your organization.

Learn more about our organizational discount pricing here. You can also purchase the training as an individual through IEEE Xplore.

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