Are Any of Your Medical Devices at Risk for a Cyber Attack Attempt?

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By Scott Bristol

The May 2017 “WannaCry” ransomware attack proved that there is no system without vulnerability. The attack infected businesses, universities, manufacturers, government agencies and hospitals in at least 150 countries. In the healthcare industry, it wasn’t just administrative PCs that were hacked; medical devices were infected as well.

A reported 90 percent of healthcare organizations experienced a data breach in the 24 months from April 2014 through April 2016. Of the healthcare data breaches that occurred in 2015, 98 percent were caused by hackers. Research has shown that data breaches could be costing the healthcare industry $6.2 billion per year. View this infographic for more information.

At Dräger we develop technology for life. Our customers depend on this technology and expect our products to be secure against vulnerabilities that could affect overall functionality, security and privacy of patient data.

This is why we proactively:

  • Established a dedicated cybersecurity team
  • Developed a coordinated disclosure statement to act as a single point of contact for security issues
  • Provided security training to all levels of employees involved with Development Lifecycle
  • Continuously submit for Defense Information Assurance Certification and Accreditation Process (DIACAP) and Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) accreditation

We also recommend that healthcare organizations flip the script and adopt a “defense is the best offense” mentality to combat the unseen dangers of today.

Considerations for healthcare providers include:

  • Foster a culture that prioritizes security – it’s essential that all users are trained and aware of the all possible security risks.
  • Meet hackers’ level of sophistication – update your technology to combat cyber attacks.
  • Work with a trusted partner – align security measures across your organization with solutions providers who commit themselves to producing reliable equipment.

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Scott Bristol is the Information Security Manager at Dräger

This article was republished with permission from Dräger. It originally appeared as a blog post in INSIGHTS by Dräger. INSIGHTS by Dräger is a continuous series of ideas and innovations that can help you achieve your clinical and business goals by improving clinical outcomes, managing the cost of care, ensuring staff satisfaction, and enhancing the patient experience. Check it out here.

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