Monday, April 5, 2010

Security Standards for Implantable Medical Devices

Following an attack that contaminated bottles of Tylenol and killed 7 people in 1982, the medical community -- including doctors, regulators, legislators, and manufacturers -- forever changed the way medicines are handled to secure the medical supply chain. Out of this process, we got the child-proof (and sometimes, adult-proof!) lids and tamper-resistant seals that those taking medicine deal with on a daily basis.

The state of implantable medical device computer security (and privacy) today parallels that of the 1980's drug supply, and needs similar protection and regulation innovation. A new paper from the MDSC explains the risks and offers some steps forwards towards "develop[ing] a security paradigm for medical devices that welcomes important technological advances while ensuring the well-being of millions of medical-device recipients."