In the last number of months, our “Networking” column has covered the various and extensive threats clinical/biomedical engineers need to know about to safeguard their devices and systems. Expertly written by Jeff Kabachinski, MS-T, BS-ETE, MCNE, director of technical development for Aramark Healthcare Technologies, Jeff has warned us about viruses and malware and introduced us to the nefarious world of hackers. He has provided various examples of companies whose systems succumbed to these malicious attacks, proving the threats are real.

A couple of days ago, a biomed posted a link on the Biomedtalk listserv that took me to the page where it proved this once again. The site reported that a scan of “CareFusion’s respiratory devices software updating systems finds them infected with viruses and other malicious code that may have been transmitted to users’ systems.” The site later clarified that the malicious code was found on the Web site that houses the updates, not the software itself.

According to the story, “Trojans and other software exploits that installed on user devices without consent were found on 20 pages of CareFusion’s Web site, according to a Google “safe browsing” report. CareFusion uses the site to distribute software updates for its Avea line of ventilators.”

As serious issues like this increase, so must the avid attention to protecting the safety of devices and in turn patients. The greater the security risk to devices, the more this extends to patient safety, whether in the form of safe operation or a correct diagnosis, or the security of personal information.

How is your department addressing these potential problems? Have you implemented new systems or procedures? We hope you’ll share your ideas.