Securing increasingly connected medical infrastructure
Securing increasingly connected medical infrastructure
As if the healthcare industry weren’t already being stretched to its limits, an increasing number of cybersecurity attacks have taken advantage of the sector’s growing connectivity.
Digital health solutions have been widely adopted throughout the Asia-Pacific region - as demonstrated by adoption rates of 94% in Singapore, 89% in China and 60% in Japan. This widespread adoption has also broadened opportunities for cybercriminals, who constantly probe for weaknesses through which they can steal clients’ private medical information for profit, or worse, conduct ransomware attacks that cost hospitals not only revenues but lives as well.
A lack of harmonized standards for medical device cybersecurity has contributed to this collective vulnerability. Organisations are unaware of cybersecurity requirements based on regulations. As a result, 82% of health systems reported experiencing some form of Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) cyberattack, with ransomware making up 34% of all reported attacks. Organisations are unaware of cybersecurity requirements based on regulations.
This rising incidence of high-profile attacks has brought down serious political and regulatory scrutiny on connected health devices. To avoid both cyberattacks and regulatory penalties, medical device manufacturers must demonstrate cybersecurity compliance with regional and global standards and regulations, like the European Union's (EU) Medical Device Regulation (MDR), In Vitro Diagnostic Regulation (IVDR), and ISO 81001-5-1 covering cybersecurity for health software.
Medical device manufacturers and healthcare providers alike have their work cut out for them. They must demonstrate measures for medical device cybersecurity and ongoing compliance with regulations, at a volatile time when reliability and security matter most.
With literal lives hanging in the balance, you as a medical device manufacturer must proactively address the following issues, in order to address cybersecurity risk and stay ahead of the technology curve in the long run.
Because the health sector has spent less on cybersecurity relative to others, manufacturers and providers often lack the resources to invest in medical device cybersecurity management systems. Additionally, the wide health data infrastructure’s geographic distribution throws up another cybersecurity compliance roadblock.
Planning for unscheduled interruptions is essential in the medical field. Lives depend on connected health infrastructure even during power interruptions or force majeure events. Healthcare providers must set emergency planning and cyber-resilience measures to ensure continuing services in worst-case scenarios.
Breaches could lead to expensive vigilance activities and field safety actions; negative publicity can damage trust and cost millions in regulatory penalties. Integrating medical devices into an IT infrastructure without compromising customer data is needed to increase business opportunities and foster loyalty.
TÜV SÜD’s extensive regulations and standards knowledge prepared you for the future, allowing you to implement and scale up digital technologies throughout your medical facility, without compromising operations or data integrity.
Whether you want to minimise your risk profile, or gain access to international standardisation committees, TÜV SÜD can provide the right level of service for your needs, supported by a global team of over 750 healthcare and medical device testing experts, engineers, and medical doctors.
Our customers count on our industry accreditations and our industry expertise to help their testing run smoothly, stay informed about the new regulatory requirements, and reduce time-to-market for their medical devices.
Our global customer base and past references attest to the high quality of TÜV SÜD’s service, and the trust our customers place in TÜV SÜD. After all, we’re not just a brand: we’re a partner in our customers’ businesses, working alongside them to anticipate and capitalise on technological developments.
Adding connectivity to existing/new products
More healthcare providers require devices to be connected to the internet, including pre-existing equipment. Adding connectivity to legacy equipment should be done with caution, based on a careful assessment of business goals, patient needs, connectivity-associated risks and available technology.
Ensuring profitability of new smart products
Consider whether new smart products are worth the cost of adoption. Appraise long-term maintenance and eventual device replacements. For device manufacturers, show that the value of your products exceeds perceptions of premium price, ongoing support costs, and any attached subscription-based services.
Securing compliance with updated standards and regulations
Cybersecurity compliance requirements can pose challenges when you are looking to explore new markets. Every region has its own specific requirements (which often change on short notice), and you need to fully understand each region’s regulations and compliance procedures.
Mitigating additional cyber risks
As WiFi, Bluetooth and ethernet connections become essential parts of medical infrastructure, you have to implement proactive cybersecurity throughout the whole life cycle of the medical device to protect against attacks. This safeguards sensitive patient data, allow access to authorised personnel, and comply with regulations.
Strengthening position as enabler
As a medical device manufacturer, your ability to deliver value to your customers depends on continuing innovation, underpinned by a regimen of continual product development, testing, certification and maintenance.
Understand the importance of vulnerability scan and penetration testing in medical devices in our FAQ.
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