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FBI spotlights cybersecurity risks of outdated medical devices

On Tuesday, the FBI issued a written report offeringrecommendations to handle several cybersecurity vulnerabilities in active medical devices stemming from outdated software, in addition to thelack of security features in older hardware.

Once exploited, the vulnerabilities could impact healthcare facility operations, patient safety, data confidentiality and data integrity. In case a cyberattacker takes control, they are able to direct devices to provide inaccurate readings, administer drug overdoses or elsewhere endanger patient health.

The FBI notedin its briefing a mid-year healthcare cybersecurity analysis discovered that equipment susceptible to cyberattacks includes insulin pumps, intracardiac defibrillators, mobile cardiac telemetry, pacemakers, and intrathecal pain pumps.

Routine challenges are the usage of standardized configurations, specialized configurations including a considerable amount of managed devices on a network and the shortcoming to upgrade device security features, based on the FBI’s announcement.

The agency further adds that research has found typically 6.2 vulnerabilities per medical device and that 40% of medical devices at the end-of-life stage offer little to no security patches or upgrades.

The brand new briefing can be acquired to greatly help healthcare IT managers act to recognize and secure devices and raise employee awareness through risk mitigation training. It reviews:

  • Endpoint protection.

  • Identity and access management.

  • Asset management.

  • Vulnerability management.

  • Training to greatly help mitigate risks connected with employees.

The FBI also requests to be notified through local field offices about suspicious or criminal activity involving medical devices, like the organization name, contact;the date, time andlocation; thetype of activity; thenumber of individuals affected; and the sort of equipment.

Access the tips about the American Hospital Association website.

Andrea Fox is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.

Healthcare IT News is really a HIMSS publication.

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