The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last month issued a safety communication to build awareness of the vulnerabilities and risks associated with medical devices being increasingly connected to information systems and networks. Recommended steps include restricting unauthorized access to a facility's network and networked medical devices; ensuring that appropriate antivirus software and firewalls are up-to-date; monitoring network activity for unauthorized use; protecting network components through routine and periodic evaluation; contacting the manufacturer if a device presents a potential cybersecurity problem; and developing strategies to maintain critical functionality during adverse conditions. In addition, the FDA encourages facilities to file a voluntary MedWatch report if they suspect that a cybersecurity event has affected a medical device or network.
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