Device Identification , Endpoint Security , Governance

Why Medical Device Security Is So Challenging

CIO Theresa Meadows Discusses Top Cybersecurity Priorities
Why Medical Device Security Is So Challenging
Theresa Meadows, CIO of Cook Children's Health Care System

Bolstering medical device security is a top priority at Fort Worth, Texas-based Cook Children's Health Care System, says CIO Theresa Meadows, who's a leader of two cybersecurity advisory groups.

"Going into next year, we're really spending most of our time focused on medical device security," Meadows says in explaining her security priorities in an interview with Information Security Media Group.

"It's an easier process to begin building secure devices going forward. It's a harder process to determine what to do with the legacy devices."

The healthcare system recently acquired technology to help it take the important step of identifying all the medical devices on its networks, the CIO says. After that inventory, it will devise a risk management plan that spells out ways to update, replace or segregate devices so that they "do not harm the overall network or impact patient care," she says.

Industry Struggle

Medical device cybersecurity is one of the toughest challenges facing the healthcare sector, says Meadows, who the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives recently selected as the winner of its federal public policy award for CIO leadership. The award recognizes her service as co-chair of the Department of Health and Human Services' Healthcare Cybersecurity Task Force and as vice chair of the Healthcare and Public Health Sector Coordinating Council Cybersecurity Working Group.

While the Food and Drug Administration and various industry stakeholders have made a lot of progress in addressing medical device security in recent years, "the problem is just very large," she notes.

"It's an easier process to begin building secure devices going forward. It's a harder process to determine what to do with the legacy devices."

In the interview (see audio link below photo), Meadows also discusses:

  • Other top cybersecurity challenges facing the healthcare sector;
  • Top cyberthreats in healthcare;
  • Her 2020 cybersecurity recommendations for CIOs and CISOs.

Meadows, a registered nurse, is senior vice president and CIO at Cook Children's Health Care System, which includes a medical center, physician network, home health company, surgery centers, health plan, health services and health foundation.




Around the Network

Our website uses cookies. Cookies enable us to provide the best experience possible and help us understand how visitors use our website. By browsing govinfosecurity.com, you agree to our use of cookies.