FDA Concerned About Medical Device Hacking

Posted on June 14, 2013

As medical devices become more and more complex, they also may become open to hackers looking to gain access to the device.  Such is the fear of the Food and Drug Administration, which has just released a report to Congress seeking to stress the importance of cyber security.

In particular, the FDA worries that oversights in cyber security could prompt a patient to suffer from an illness or be privy to injuries or even a fatality.  Many devices are being developed and introduced which use wireless networks and internet connections in order to operate and transfer medical information, but with this comes the same risks posed to things like computers and smartphones.

The FDA is urging companies to start taking security measures into consideration while developing medical devices.  At the same time, though, the agency doesn’t want devices to become so complex that they would be hard for consumers to get a grasp on in order to use properly.

The hope is that security can be beefed up by investing in better password protection.  All models of a device should not come with the same basic password from the outset, and changing the password should be simple for users.  Biometric security and the usage of a smart card might further bolster safety.

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