Importance of Data-Driven Cybersecurity for Medical Device Companies

Big data technology is essential to improving the cybersecurity of medical device companies.
big data and AI in medical device cybersecurity
Shutterstock Photo License By LeoWolfert

Big data has become fundamentally important to the future of cybersecurity. A growing number of companies using data analytics, artificial intelligence and other forms of big data technology to bolster their defenses against cyberattacks.

Medical device companies are highly vulnerable to cyberattacks. A growing number of these businesses are investing in big data technology to help keep hackers at bay.

AI and Big Data Are Crucial to Cybersecurity in the Medical Field

Modern artificial intelligence technology is undeniably revolutionizing the medical field. It has the potential to transform the current healthcare system further into something superior. As a result, the use of medical devices is increasing around the world; the devices themselves are also becoming more advanced and sophisticated as the industry booms.

Today’s intelligent medical devices, therefore, collect a gargantuan amount of data and save it on a cloud-based platform. This data includes patient’s personal data like health information, product performance, or even some other important data from connected devices.

As convenient as this system is, the vast amount of data is also at risk of a cyber-attack. In fact, the personal and sensitive nature of the data makes it particularly vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Cyber attackers often target the medical field. Therefore, connected medical device security requires immediate attention to protect data and privacy.

Threats Of the Cyber Attacks

Cyber criminals often attack medical devices with ransomware. In one instance, hackers attacked computers globally and encrypted all the data. They demanded payment from medical facilities for allowing access to the data.

In such ransomware attacks, cyber criminals usually threaten to publish people’s personal sensitive data or deny access to them. Unless a large financial sum is paid, they continue the attack.

These hackers managed to steal many confidential data and even changed or manipulated them. They can quickly deplete the battery stores. Even worse, attacks may issue an incorrect command that may jeopardize the patient’s health.

Sensitive personal medical data is worth a lot of money. Hackers target the medical field in particular because they store huge amounts of such data. These attackers can steal and sell this data for a large sum of money to untrustworthy sources. This will compromise the victim’s safety and privacy to a large degree.

Why Is Medical Device Security Important?

Medical devices are the key entry point for cyber criminals. It is an easy gateway to get access to data not just in the device but also all the connected devices. This is why hospitals should not use the outdated device for collecting and storing data. Outdated technology is easy to breach and cannot stop the attackers.

Scarily enough, the FDA found that many US hospitals were using outdated medical devices. These devices were especially vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Furthermore, a research team in 2019 developed malware that can add realistic images of tumors into CT scans or MRI scans. It can even remove images of the tumor. This research exposed the severity of such cyber-attack threats the medical field could face.

In addition, the healthcare staff is often lacking cyber security knowledge, which also may lead to a security breach. The hospitals should train their employees on online threats and ways to deal with them. Furthermore, healthcare facilities should also invest in strong Cybersecurity systems.

However, it is often the case that hospitals lack the budget to acquire updated medical devices. For the same reason, hospitals often fail to train their employees to train in Cybersecurity. Facilities working with a great number of devices also find it difficult to impose a stringent security system.

In short, medical devices require a strong protection system to protect the data. Without that, the privacy and security of the patients will continue to remain at risk. Moreover, a data breach leads to financial loss for the medical facilities too.

Remediation Strategy with Data-Driven Cybersecurity

As evident from the earlier discussion, Cybersecurity is indeed a matter of high concern for the healthcare industry. As the medical world has started to wake up to the cause, medical device manufacturers are also following the same path. New devices are incorporating better security strategies to secure data. Big data has helped make their cybersecurity more effective than ever.

However, manufacturers must focus on device quality and integrity when developing their security strategy. It is wise to weigh the risk and come up with suitable designs, features and implement antimalware software. They must also take things like data encryption, software maintenance, and updates into consideration.

Along with that, the FDA is advising hospitals to be vigilant about any cyber issues in their devices. If found, they must immediately report it to the authorities. Similarly, the EU has also enforced its Cybersecurity laws to protect the data in the medical field. Such initiatives are likely to improve the Cybersecurity scenario in the healthcare industry.

Data-Driven Cybersecurity Software Solution: A Viable Option?

The best option is to implement a potent software solution into the medical device. A software solution that can integrate itself across the different medical devices can efficiently protect multiple devices at once. Along with that, it must provide extended protection for cloud connection and data streaming too.

Any top-notch Cybersecurity software should be able to provide protection both on mobile and web applications by using better big data technology. It must allow the user to create customized algorithms and modules so the hospitals can ensure their security.

It is also necessary to arm medical devices with a protective software solution that also covers payment systems, management, patient monitoring, and analysis. Feature-rich software cannot only strengthen the security system but also ease the healthcare process for medical workers.

In addition, a user authentication system can also prevent an unauthorized person from accessing confidential data. It must enable the device to quickly respond, prevent, and recover from any cyber threats.

Big Data is Essential to Modern Cybersecurity

In short, medical devices should have a software solution that provides extensive data protection and nullifies cyber-attacks efficiently. Such a modern solution will also adhere to FDA and EU standards of data protection. Therefore, medical facilities can use it across the globe.

However, apart from the above solution, manufacturers must be up to date with new Cybersecurity threats and countermeasures. They must always strive to reinvent themselves to cope with the increasing cyber-attacks. This will help to create devices that are better equipped to protect and preserve the sensitive personal data of millions.

It also helps to raise awareness around Cybersecurity in the medical field across the world. An informed population and team of healthcare workers will also help to defend against cyber-attacks.

Ryan Kh
Ryan Kh is an experienced blogger, digital content & social marketer. Founder of Catalyst For Business and contributor to search giants like Yahoo Finance, MSN. He is passionate about covering topics like big data, business intelligence, startups & entrepreneurship. Email: ryankh14@icloud.com