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Medical Device Vulnerabilities: What to Protect & How to Protect It

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Ann R. Thryft
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Valuable information
Ann R. Thryft   2/19/2013 3:43:36 PM
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Thanks for this article. We've had several discussions on the site about hacking medical devices, and this is valuable info on several ways they can be vulnerable.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Valuable information
Cabe Atwell   2/19/2013 5:09:57 PM
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This is why medical devices are so expensive, the copious levels protection. When it comes to lives at risk, everything should be considered for testing. I'm not a big advocate of IP protection, but foreign companies are always looking to copy top-dollar products.

C

Charles Murray
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Secure OS?
Charles Murray   2/19/2013 7:51:12 PM
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Alan, I'm curious how important it is to have a secure operating system for some of these medical devices. We often see operating systems decribed in terms of levels or security -- what level of security should designers aspire to?

Nancy Golden
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Layered Strategies and the Need For It
Nancy Golden   2/20/2013 9:32:23 AM
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Interesting article - the layered strategy makes good sense as well as not advertising any specifics about the security methods that are in place. A lot of what was said applies to technology in general as well. Too bad we can't direct the energy and innovation that must be used to make products secure to enhance perofrmance instead. Malicious attacks on medical devices is a sad statement of our society - but then, I have never understood why so many hackers waste so much time and energy to cause problems when they could direct their abilities towards doing good and contributing to society with their accomplishments...

TJ McDermott
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Re: Valuable information
TJ McDermott   2/20/2013 10:07:00 AM
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Cabe, I would posit that it is overall cost of liability that makes medical equipment so expensive.  The risk of ANY failure is too great.

Having some personal data get out poses a very low risk to life.

NadineJ
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Re: Valuable information
NadineJ   2/20/2013 4:13:14 PM
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I agree.  This very valuable info and very timely.  

The general public may be more comfortable with less privacy in social media but not with their medical data.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Valuable information
Cabe Atwell   2/20/2013 4:51:06 PM
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If medical history wasn't important, politicians wouldn't get so worried over it. I say leaked data is a big deal.

C

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Valuable information
Ann R. Thryft   2/20/2013 5:38:28 PM
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The high cost of medical devices is due in part to a longer history of liability problems than of leaked data, a much more recent concern. Other factors like very high performance and the high cost of middlemen no doubt contribute yet more cost. But I think Cabe's point about leaked data is a good one--that's probably going to be a contributing factor to higher device costs in the near future.

Charles Murray
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Re: Valuable information
Charles Murray   2/25/2013 7:47:58 PM
Good point, NadineJ. Hackers could misuse information about communicable diseases and psychiatric treatment (among other things) to cause to a great deal of trouble for unsuspecting patients.  

Greg M. Jung
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Malicious Intent
Greg M. Jung   2/27/2013 8:18:27 PM
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From a patient safety standpoint, I'm not as concerned with the pirating of medical information as I am about a hacker who infiltrates the medical device with malicious intent.  I think we should consider ways to mitigate hacker risk if a medical device is connected to a network and could be vulnerable to an attack on its operating system (where applicable).

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