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5 ways health systems can stop hackers from attacking vaccine 'cold chain'

Becker's Health IT

Jackie Drees

Hospitals and health systems can prevent hackers from attacking their equipment that keeps COVID-19 vaccines ultracold by implementing protective measures like limiting access to sensor displays, according to Kevin Fu, the FDA's medical device cybersecurity director.

Mr. Fu, who became the FDA's first acting director of medical device cybersecurity in February, led a recent study published in Biomedical Instrumentation and Technology that found that an attacker located near vaccine cold chain equipment, such as freezers or coolers, could use electromagnetic interference to compromise temperature sensors into showing false readings, Nextgov reported Oct. 21.

The electromagnetic interference, which could be generated by devices like walkie-talkies, could then cause a cooler's temperature to falsely show that vaccines have become too warm to use or cause a freezer malfunction that would spoil the contents.

Here are five steps health systems can take...

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