Medical Devices and Cybercrime: Are Patients at Risk?

The Protiviti View

Jeff SanchezScott Erven, AD Los AngelesBy Jeff Sanchez, Managing Director, Information Security and Privacy Practice

and Scott Erven, Associate Director, Healthcare IT Security Practice

Technology now allows doctors to connect remotely to an array of medical devices, from infusion pumps to CT scanners, improving both speed and quality of care. The miraculous Da Vinci surgical system has even opened the possibility of telesurgery, a process by which a surgeon in one country could perform even the most intricate of operations via a surgical robot.

Connectivity, however, also introduces new risks. What happens, for example, when cyberattackers, maliciously or as a byproduct of a separate attack, compromise patient safety and privacy?

It is a potentially catastrophic scenario, and healthcare organizations must take measures to avert such possibility before it happens.

Historically, medical devices have been viewed as standalone instruments rather than connected computers with software, which, essentially, is what they have become. Thus, it is understandable why…

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