As hackers increasingly take advantage of historically lax security on embedded devices, defending medical instruments has taken on new urgency on two fronts. There’s a need to protect patients, so that attackers can’t hack an insulin pump to administer a fatal dose. And vulnerable medical devices also connect to a huge array of sensors and monitors, making them potential entry points to larger hospital networks. That in turn could mean the theft of sensitive medical records, or a devastating ransomware attack that holds vital systems hostage until administrators pay up.
Medical devices with these features—like wireless connectivity, remote monitoring, and near-field communication tech—allow health professionals to adjust and fine tune implanted devices without invasive procedures. That’s a very good thing. But those conveniences also create potential points of exposure.
Just understand that anything this is wirelessly accessible is vulnerable to hackers. I am not sure how often this happens, but manufacturers need to do their best to protect consumers.