Health care information technology is ever-changing, and although it may be convenient for clinicians, it can pose risks for patients. Access and identity management continues to be a medical device cybersecurity challenge and priority, because these devices collect and document patient information, such as vital signs.
Security expert Mark Sexton of the consultancy Clearwater notes that many older medical device operating systems can be vulnerable. He predicts that by the end of the year, as many as 70% of medical devices will be running on operating systems that are no longer supported.
New technologies in the medical device industry are becoming available, though. Since these devices are more mobile, it can be more difficult to protect the patient’s information. However, a great solution to this problem is strengthening the security of your medical devices.
Make sure you are prohibiting untrusted users from gaining access by enabling a strong authentication. Using a single- or two-factor authentication, like a username and password and perhaps a security question better enforces trust between clinicians and devices, as well as between the devices and the networks with which to communicate protected health information (PHI).
If you are still using a legacy operating system for your medical devices, it may be time for an upgrade for the sake of your clinicians and their patients’ privacy. Medical device cybersecurity can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be.
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