NIST Issues New Guidance to Enhance Wireless Infusion Pump Cybersecurity | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

NIST Issues New Guidance to Enhance Wireless Infusion Pump Cybersecurity

May 11, 2017
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in collaboration with the healthcare community and manufacturers, has released draft guidelines designed to help healthcare delivery organizations improve wireless infusion pump cybersecurity.

As a press release from NIST stated, medical devices, such as infusion pumps, have evolved from standalone instruments that interacted only with the patient and a medical provider into devices that now connect wirelessly to a variety of systems, networks, and other platforms to enhance patient care, as part of the broader Internet of Medical Things (IoMT).

As such, cybersecurity risks have risen. Wireless infusion pump ecosystems, which include the pump, the network, and the data stored in and on a pump, face a range of potential threats, such as unauthorized access to protected health information (PHI), changes to prescribed drug doses, and interference with a pump’s intended function.

The new guidance, NIST Special Publication 1800-8: Securing Wireless Infusion Pumps in Healthcare Delivery Organizations, uses standards-based, commercially available technologies and industry best practices to help healthcare organizations strengthen the security of wireless infusion pumps within healthcare facilities, according to officials from NIST’s National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence. The draft guide is now open for public comment.  

Composed of three parts, the first volume can help hospital administrators better understand the cybersecurity risks of wireless infusion pumps to the hospital enterprise. The second and third volumes detail the approach, risk assessment, standards and security control mappings, and an example implementation of securing the wireless infusion pump ecosystem.

“When we initially launched this project, we received more than 200 comments from interested parties. That’s when we realized the challenges involved in properly securing wireless infusion pumps were complex and significant. We ended up working with 14 technology and manufacturing collaborators and dozens of industry stakeholders to help healthcare delivery organizations reduce their risks,” Gavin O’Brien, senior cybersecurity engineer at the NCCoE, said in a statement.

Biomedical, networking and cybersecurity engineers, along with healthcare IT professionals, can use the second and third volumes to see how the NCCoE used commercially available or open source tools to help configure and deploy wireless infusion pumps. According to O’Brien, “The ultimate goal is to implement a defense-in-depth strategy to reduce the risks.”

O’Brien said that he is confident the guide will provide valuable insights healthcare delivery organizations need to better secure their wireless infusion pump ecosystems. And, he explained, capabilities demonstrated by the NCCoE may also apply to other medical devices on wireless networks as well.

Get the latest information on Cybersecurity and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More

Topics

News

Report: Insider Threats to Patient Data Remain Unnoticed

Of the reported healthcare data breach incidents that occurred in September, it took an average of 387 days for healthcare organizations to discover a breach had occurred, according to a report from cybersecurity software company Protenus.

Reports: Ex-Pharma Exec Alex Azar Emerges as Trump’s Top Pick for HHS Secretary

President Donald Trump could be on the verge of tapping Alex Azar, a former pharmaceutical industry executive and George W. Bush administration official, as the next HHS Secretary, according to media reports.

ONC HIT Certification Program Approves HIMSS Immunization Integration Method

The ONC has approved a HIMSS testing method for the health IT certification program that can now serve as an alternative to the current National Coordinator-approved method for testing transmissions to immunization registries.

UF Health Receives $2.2 Million CDC Grant for Telemedicine Project

UF Health Jacksonville in Florida will be using a $2.2 million federal grant to launch a telemedicine program aimed at improving care for patients living with HIV in an urban setting.

Epic, CVS Health Team Up to Use Analytics for Informed Medication Insights

Epic Systems and CVS Health have announced an initiative in which analytics and data sharing will be leveraged to generate insights surrounding dispensing patterns and behaviors around medication adherence.

Two Major Healthcare Collaboratives Partner to Improve Regional Data Sharing

NRHI a national organization of regional healthcare improvement collaboratives, and SHIEC, a national trade association representing health information exchanges, are now joining forces.