Medical Devices and Cybersecurity: What You Need to Know

Medical equipment is unquestionably required. In the most extreme circumstances, they can mean the difference between life and death, and even in less severe cases, they will be responsible for monitoring the patients’ health and, if necessary, providing medication.

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Medical Devices and Cybersecurity: What You Need to Know

However, there is a significant problem with medical devices: because of their software and network capabilities, they are particularly vulnerable to cyber-attacks. This means that anyone who makes use of such a device may be vulnerable to fraud, theft, and identity theft, among other types of compromise. There is a possibility that these issues will cause the devices to malfunction, putting the patients’ lives in danger.

There are three key places that are particularly vulnerable to these types of attacks. The first is concerned with updates. To be utilised on a medical device, security updates, virus protection, and patches must be evaluated and proven to be safe before they can be installed on the device. This must be completed by the provider, and written proof must be provided to the customer that it has been completed. In practise, the interval between performing these assessments and the device being used (or receiving an update) can be several months, during which time hackers may have gained access.

Another issue is that the upgrades themselves are causing problems. As soon as any security upgrades for these critical medical equipment are made available, fraudsters will quickly begin analysing them in order to identify – and exploit – any weaknesses.

Because these upgrades also make any exploitation of the device more difficult to detect, it is possible that compromised medical devices are unintentionally utilised — under the idea that they are safe and have been thoroughly tested. As a result, it is clear that the security risks surrounding medical devices are quite severe.

Devices with a higher level of sophistication

These medical devices are growing increasingly sophisticated as time progresses, thanks to the software that runs on them. This may appear to be the best thing that could ever happen because it will undoubtedly make it more difficult for cybercriminals to launch attacks.

The reality, on the other hand, is rather different.

Because cybercriminals are constantly learning new ways to break into increasingly sophisticated technology, it is inevitable that they will eventually figure out how to crack it. When hackers gain access to medical devices and steal information or change settings, the consequences can be catastrophic.

Add to this the fact that the more intricate the devices and accompanying software get, the more difficult it is for healthcare professionals and patients to comprehend and control them. The last thing that should happen is for the medical devices to become unusable, especially given the fact that they represent a significant financial investment.

Failure to keep patients safe from cyber-attacks through their medical devices could result in sanctions owing to a breach of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Additionally, it has a detrimental impact on the reputation of the healthcare service, resulting in a loss of business as well as significant financial losses.

Advice from the National Health Service

The National Health Service (NHS) has a vested interest in ensuring that all medical devices are as safe and secure as possible, particularly in the face of cyber-attacks and data breaches. One of the most important pieces of advise from the National Health Service is to develop a mitigation plan in order to limit the likelihood of the devices being hacked and the consequences if they are compromised. This mitigation strategy includes limiting the ability of medical devices to access removable media and untrustworthy services (such as email and web browsers), limiting remote access (which will also modify the way the device can be used), removing any unnecessary services, and ensuring that only those who require access to the medical devices have access to the devices themselves. Access to the rest of the world is either limited or denied entirely.

This is a significant undertaking, particularly for people who are not familiar with current cyber-security measures. Engaging JVR Consultancy to assist you with any medical equipment that you may need to do evaluations on is a wise decision to make. This will eliminate the need for such a plan, as our efforts will be sufficient to ensure the security of all medical devices.

How Can JVR Consultancy Help?
Don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at JVR Consultancy if you have any questions or concerns concerning the safety and security of medical equipment. For any medical equipment, regardless of its age, we are able to provide the most up-to-date specialised consultant information available.

This includes the following:

  • Managing your suppliers (ensuring that the right compliance and tests are performed before you ever receive the equipment)
  • Device tracking is used to keep track of any problems or potential hazards on the network.
  • Security against cyberattacks on a global scale
    disposal of the gadgets in accordance with asset management regulations, which are audited for your records
  • A comprehensive GDPR audit and assessment

Please get in touch with us if you would want to learn more about Medical Devices and Cyber Security.

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