Global group demands better virus protection

February 4, 2005

Vendors and users of healthcare information technology must work together to shore up their defenses, according to representatives of the medical devices business.

Vendors and users of healthcare information technology must work together to shore up their defenses, according to representatives of the medical devices business.

A new white paper offers an explanation of software threats, outlines potential vulnerabilities, and suggests practical defense strategies. The document was produced by a trade-based international security and privacy committee with representatives from the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, European Coordination Committee of the Radiological and Electromedical Industry, and Japanese Industries Association of Radiological Systems. It can be downloaded at www.nema.org.

Technical solutions to security breaches include checksum calculations and system profiles that can verify the integrity of entire directories. Virus scanning software can itself cause problems when used on medical IT equipment, as software may mistakenly try to "fix" normal image data or shut down an entire system on the basis of a false alert.