Tuesday, May 25, 2010

VA Security Compromised By Medical Devices

Nicole Lewis writes on InformationWeek:

At a congressional hearing last week, Roger Baker, assistant secretary for information and technology at the Department of Veterans Affairs, said during the past 14 months more than 122 medical devices have been compromised by malware.

Baker, who testified before the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, said one of the "critical challenges" facing the department is protecting its medical devices from cyber threats.

"The major challenge with securing medical devices is that, because their operation must be certified, the application of operating system patches and malware protection updates is tightly restricted," Baker said. "This inherent vulnerability can increase the potential for cyber attacks on the VA trusted network by creating risk to patient safety," Baker added.

The VA defines a medical device as any device used in patient healthcare for diagnoses, treatment, or monitoring, or that has gone through the Food and Drug Administration's premarket review process. The VA is the federal government's largest medical care provider and has more than 50,000 networked medical devices.

More here.


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