Cybersecurity is patient safety.
Cybersecurity gaps in the technological systems that run our lives are becoming more and more apparent. Hardly a day goes by that we don’t hear about another major institution hit with an attack. Many hospitals and healthcare organizations have suffered interruptions of service because of cyber hacks and ransomware, and the consequences for patients can literally be life or death. But could these kinds of threats go even deeper? What happens when we implant internet-connected devices into our bodies, like pacemakers and defibrillators? Electrical engineer and professor Kevin Fu researches medical device cybersecurity, and uses threat modeling to game out and catch every possible weak spot before the unthinkable happens to a patient. Jessica Wilkerson works on the regulation and enforcement side, developing policy at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for safe and effective medical devices. Vivian Schiller, the executive director of Aspen Digital, moderates a conversation between the two about what it takes to ensure safety against increasingly sophisticated bad actors when the stakes couldn’t be higher, and the exact methods and scenarios are unknown.