A new white paper published by the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) argues that the clearest line of defense against cyber attacks is the adoption of cybersecurity best practices and standards by manufacturers, service staff, and healthcare providers, according to an AAMI announcement.

In “Cybersecurity for Medical Imaging,” MITA, a division of National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), notes that imaging devices have become increasingly connected to networks. Most imaging technologies rely on digital technology, software, and hardware connected to the Internet of Things, making them vulnerable to cyberattacks. The paper says that a lack of information technology security poses a significant risk to clinical and business continuity, and also to patient safety.

Manufacturers, installers, service staff, and healthcare providers must work together to advance cybersecurity measures for medical devices within healthcare, particularly as the Internet of Things advances towards greater interoperability and data exchange, MITA says.

The white paper outlines recommendations for manufacturers, as well as for “responsible” users, including defining ways to continuously monitor vulnerabilities to detect patches and updates that will address functionality or repair vulnerabilities that might affect particular devices. It also recommends that, once installed, equipment operators and healthcare organizations should deploy firewalls and make other provisions to safeguard their networked medical devices. They should also be aware of cybersecurity threats and train personnel on how to mitigate risks and audit logs for imaging equipment and imaging informatics systems.

For more information about cybersecurity, see the AAMI news release and visit the AAMI Hot Topics page on this subject.