New cybersecurity center to protect US medical facilities

The University of Minnesota is opening a new research facility, called the Center for Medical Device Cybersecurity (CMDC), in partnership with several hospital equipment suppliers , such as Medtronic and Boston Scientific.

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  • The CMDC was born after members of the medical equipment industry saw the need for an information and study center to facilitate the discovery, protection and training of safety issues for workers in the sector. of health.

    US healthcare industry companies such as Boston Scientific, Smiths Medical, Optum, Medtronic, and Abbott Laboratories are major investors from the project.

    The center aims to educate from manufacturers to end users about the virtual risks that medical equipment can run, and how to protect themselves from them. CMDC will also focus on developing new training and technology to address potential cybersecurity threats in hospital devices.

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    In an interview with The Verge website, Mike Johnson, expert in security technologies at the University of Minnesota and member of the initiative, states that the focus of the new center, at least initially, is to generate interest and bring people who want to learn about health protection, offering training on the development and safe use of medical equipment connected to networks.

    Johnson also states that the purpose of the new center is to understand how the security of these hospital devices works, how it can be improved, and where these devices are located in the network ecosystem of medical facilities.

    Ransomware impact

    Johnson, still in an interview with the site The Verge cites that the most imminent danger for hospital equipment is digital hijacking attacks (ransomware). Even though these crimes seem to only target data systems, the security expert says that in the case of medical equipment that depends on network connections to function, a ransomware attack can bring it to a complete halt, putting patients’ lives at risk.

    Pacemaker is a piece of equipment doctor who, if he suffers any interference, can lead to death. (Image: Falco/Pixabay)


    The technology security expert also states that it is necessary for both manufacturers and medical professionals to use Devices need to be aware of industry security issues, with all parties needing to do a good job of defending for general protection.

    Finally, Johnson also addressed the issue of medical devices that are used by patients at home, such as the pacemaker, which according to health studies conducted in Europe, will be the next medical device that will work connected to the internet. For the specialist, manufacturers must take more care with the safety of equipment that they know will be used far from the hospital, in addition to implementing controls that can stop invasions without necessarily jeopardizing the operation of the device.

    Source: The Verge

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