Medical device vulnerabilities threaten patient safety: 4 things to know

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Any healthcare device that connects to the internet is vulnerable for hacking and could pose a threat to patient safety, according to Renal and Urology News.

Four things you need to know:

1. The older a piece of software is, the easier it is to hack.

"“In the emerging practice of medical hijacking, hackers and cyber adversaries have figured out those devices present an easy way into a provider's network,"” said Ori Bach, vice president of products at TrapX Security, a cybersecurity firm based in San Jose, Calif., to Renal and Urology News.

2. Most medical device breaches stem from hackers seeking to collect data.

3. However, a hacker could also turn off or change device parameters, which can lead to patient harm. For example, hackers could lock out of force a shutdown of MRI or dialysis machines.

4. A hack could also cause a device collecting data to spit out wrong numbers and measurements, which could alter a patient's treatment plan. This means a hacker could easily mess with a patient's dosage or medication.

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