Securing Medical Technology in the Age of COVID-19

Infosecurity Magazine

Sarah Katz

Consider the miracle of a pacemaker that promotes heartbeat regularity or an insulin pump that ensures a diabetic’s pancreatic function – both are devices operated by a distant network. Now, imagine if those networks were to fail.

Particularly in the age of COVID-19, technology experts are feeling the pressure to develop new strategies to tackle healthcare challenges. Cyber threats in the field of medical technology range from hacking of IoT medical devices, such as insulin pumps and pacemakers, to the PHI of cardiac arrest patients being locked by ransomware attackers, thus preventing timely treatment of patients in critical condition due to heart attack.

While thousands of patients utilize such medical devices, the security of these systems lies with the networks remotely powering the device. Moreover, nanomedicine – or the use of nantotechnology for healthcare purposes such as eradication of cancer cells – also relies on such distant networks. Like any computer network, SCADA systems face risks from a variety of cyber-attacks.

Recently, Dr. Gregory Carpenter, a Cyber Epidemiologist at KnowledgeBridge International Inc., has revealed his team’s investigation results, including the discovery that 23 of the 25 bio-nano carrier networks tested were vulnerable to...

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