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Medical Devices in the Crosshairs with 36% of Orgs Attacked

Medical devices are increasingly interesting to hackers as this life-saving equipment joins the internet of things (IoT) ecosystem. More than one-third (35.6%) of surveyed professionals within that ecosystem said their organizations experienced a cybersecurity incident in the past year.

According to a Deloitte & Touche poll, identifying and mitigating the risks of fielded and legacy connected devices presents the industry's biggest cybersecurity challenge (30.1%).

"It's not surprising that managing cyber-risks of existing IoT medical devices is the top concern facing manufacturers, providers and regulators," said Russell Jones, Deloitte Risk and Financial Advisory partner at Deloitte. "Legacy devices can have outdated operating systems and may be on hospital networks without proper security controls.”

He added, “Connected device cybersecurity can start in the early stages of new device development, and should extend throughout the product's entire lifecycle; but even this can lead to a more challenging procurement process. There is no magic-bullet solution."

Additional cybersecurity challenges that connected medical devices presented to respondents included embedding vulnerability management into the design phase of medical devices (19.7%), monitoring and responding to cybersecurity incidents (19.5%), and lack of collaboration on cyber-threat management throughout the connected medical device supply chain (17.9%).

Jones continued, "Collaboration between providers, manufacturers and suppliers is key when it comes to bridging the gaps in medical device cybersecurity. This is a problem that requires the industry as a whole to come together and create a safe space where feedback and information can be shared freely."

Beyond cybersecurity risk management itself, there are post-incident risk management efforts to worry about too. Few respondents (18.6%) say their organizations are "very prepared" to address litigation, internal investigations or regulatory matters related to medical device cybersecurity incidents in the next 12 months.

"As regulatory, litigation and internal investigation activities start to focus on post-market cybersecurity management, leading organizations are taking a more forensic approach to discerning the timeline and size of cyber-incidents so the impact to intellectual property, client data and other areas can be addressed more quickly," said Scott Read, Deloitte Risk and Financial Advisory principal at Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics. "Forensic analyses responding to regulator, litigant, or whistleblower concerns may even help predict the next moves of cyber-attackers."

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