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Millions of Medical Devices Will be Left Unsecured in 2020

by Jackie Davis

The millions of medical devices that run on Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows Mobile, will be left unsecured in 2020. In January, Microsoft will end support for these systems – leaving medical devices vulnerable to cyber attacks. For organizations like the Department of Veterans Affairs, where data and device  security is already a big issue this development will only add pressure.

With this end of support, medical organizations will become an even bigger target for bad actors. In a recent webinar, Mike Bruchanski, Sr. Director, Product Management at BlackBerry Cylance, discussed how this end of support will impact healthcare organizations and what needs to be done to protect patient data from cyber criminals.

Watch the Webinar

“When you look at the current challenges in the industry – when devices do become unsupported, you have to think about who’s responsible for that device, is that device housing patient data, and understanding the large exposure,” said Bruchanski.

The VA and other healthcare organizations need to understand the potentially devastating consequences this loss of support presents. With hospitals housing thousands of connected devices, patient data, and Wi-Fi, it becomes a prime target for bad actors with a vast cyber plane.

“If you walk around and OR or ER, you understand that there are devices in every hospital room. There are wireless networks and they are accessible to a lot of people,” Bruchanski said. Healthcare organizations will need to get ahead of potential risks and protect patient data by understanding risk, evaluating their current security program, and categorizing risk for each device.

“When it comes to a clinical environment, this is a big deal,” explained Bruchanski. But, with the right security application, these bad actors can be stopped. Leveraging AI technology is vital to protecting patient data and devices as this loss of service occurs.

“The real question is security. You no longer have security,” said Bruchanski. “You no longer have changes to that operating system. Because of that, you need an application that will be extremely effective in not only preventing threats that are known today, but previously unknown threats that are going to come on the scene.”

Ready to learn more? Watch the webinar.

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