Skip to main content

FDA issues final guidelines on keeping medical devices safe from cyberattack

fda cybersecurity guidance medical devices pacemaker 123rf
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Cyberattacks certainly have a negative impact on our lives. We lose data, productivity, money, and time whenever our technology is infected with spyware, viruses, ransomware, or other forms of malware.

However, malware that’s aimed at medical devices can have a particularly egregious impact. A cyberattack on someone’s pacemaker, for example, can result in the victim’s death, not just some lost productivity. It’s for that reason that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has singled out medical devices as being worthy of special protection against cyberattack, as Engadget reports.

Specifically, the FDA announced on its blog that the agency has issued its final guidance on how medical device companies should ensure that their devices are protected against attack. The essence of the FDA’s guidance is that threats should be managed throughout a device’s entire lifespan, starting with its design and development and extending across its entire lifespan, through continuous monitoring and protection.

The FDA wants medical device manufacturers to create methods for monitoring and detecting vulnerabilities in devices; assess the level of risk and potential impact; establish processes for working with cybersecurity researchers and others to ensure the flow of information; and be able to deploy mitigations early and as necessary. More specifically, the FDA stresses that everyone involved with the manufacture and use of medical devices should apply the core cybersecurity principles outlined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

According to the FDA, these guidelines are only the beginning of its efforts to address the security of medical devices. Going forward, the agency intends to work closely with all “medical device cybersecurity stakeholders” to ensure that threats are monitored, identified, and addressed. In short, the FDA wants to make sure that even if your PC remains easy to hack, your pacemaker won’t be.

Editors' Recommendations

Mark Coppock
Mark has been a geek since MS-DOS gave way to Windows and the PalmPilot was a thing. He’s translated his love for…
PCs are back, baby
Overhead view of someone typing on a surface laptop.

It's been a hard year for PCs. Laptops and desktops sales have sunk from their pandemic highs throughout 2023 and normalized back to the status in 2019. Not even Apple has been completely spared from the drop.

But a new study is predicting a surprising surge in interest in the PC in 2024, renewing hopes that another wave of innovation and excitement for the platform is underway. After seven straight quarters of decline, the report from Canalys forecasts 5% growth in the final quarter of 2023 and 8% year-over-year growth in 2024 as a whole. That might not sound like a boom exactly, but predictions of a bounce back are certainly promising.

Read more
Best Dell XPS deals: Save on Dell XPS 13, Dell XPS 15 and Dell XPS 17
Dell XPS 15 OLED on a table.

The Dell XPS is one of our favorite laptop lines out there. XPS laptops come in tons of different options, from smaller, budget laptops that are great for students and casual users, to 17-inch behemoths that pack a ton of power. We've pulled out our favorite Dell XPS laptop deals below, organizing them by XPS 13, XPS 15 and XPS 17.

While the most obvious difference between models is the size of the screen, there are a few other trends you can see as the models get bigger. More room in the chassis means more room for components, so the XPS17 models tend to have more RAM and better graphics cards and CPUs than the smaller laptops. Dell also assumes that the larger laptops will be used by professionals, so the components can keep up with a higher level of processing power demands.

Read more
Best Microsoft Office deals: Get Word, PowerPoint, and Excel for free
Students using Microsoft Office software on their laptops outside.

Microsoft Office (and Microsoft 365) are still the standards for many businesses, schools, and colleges around the world. While the browser-based, and free, Google Docs and Google Sheets are starting to dig into the market share of these products, in the battle of Microsoft vs Google, Microsoft still holds the gold standard. While there is a Microsoft Word free trial, for most of the goodies we need to pay. And, that need for payment can be quite a drain, as often this is software we need to do work, complete assignments, or submit important documents. As a result, finding Microsoft Office and Microsoft 365 deals is critical, even though it can be a challenging task. Here's where to get a leg up on Microsoft and get Office on the cheap.
Best Microsoft Office deals
Microsoft Office is a pay once, receive once service. You don't have to pay recurring monthly fees to use it, but the software also never updates. For what it's worth, the Microsoft Office packages are labelled "2021", so they're all fairly recent but also ripe for a good deal. With the exception of AI integrations, not much has really changed in the past couple of years when it comes to your basic document creation and these programs should continue to be effective for years to come. Depending on what package you get, you'll get access to different apps, based on the needs of the target audience. For example, Microsoft Office Home & Student 2021 keeps it lean and cool and with Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint being the only apps included.

Here are our favorite deals for the classic Microsoft Office experience:

Read more