Not an actual explosion!

by Laura Baker, CyberWyoming

This year’s Cybersecurity Conference in Wyoming will feature the explosion of internet of things medical devices. We feel we have to caveat that. Medical devices are not actually exploding. (We are not myth-busters.) Do not panic!

What is exploding is the number of connected medical devices. These devices do not have built in security like computers. In fact, many are wide open. At the cybersecurity conference 4 years ago, Dr. Mike Borowczak at the University of Wyoming mentioned an incident in California where patient information leaked through an internet connected hospital bed. That statement has really stuck in my mind. After all, who would think a hospital bed would be connected to the internet in the first place? And how did the hacker’s exploit it to get to a highly protected electronic medical records system?

It affects us all. In fact, did you know that former VP Dick Cheney had is pacemaker wireless capabilities removed in 2013? The security of medical devices is not a new issue. Here’s an article about it https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2013/10/22/doctors-disabled-wireless-in-dick-cheneys-pacemaker-to-thwart-hacking/.

Our hospital IT professionals are working hard to manage these devices from surgery equipment to the radiology department and more.

Medical device security affects us all and, as Wyoming citizens, I encourage you to learn about how your local hospital administrators are managing it. I encourage you to attend the What are we going to do about the explosion of medical internet of things devices? session by Wyoming Medical Center and Medigate.

Come to Wyoming’s Cybersecurity Conference on October 5-7, virtual, mornings. Registration link at www.cyberwyoming.org/conference/

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