Fighting Hackers: Health Care’s Newest Threat

May 3, 2017

How secure is your pacemaker or insulin pump? As medical technology becomes more sophisticated, the potential for malicious cyberhacking of a medical device has become real. It’s called medjacking, and it’s not just a fictional scenario.

Notable voices in clinical medicine, security research, medical device manufacturing and public policy will gather at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix June 8-9 to tackle these security concerns. The CyberMed Summit, “Fighting Hackers: Health Care’s Newest Threat” will bring together international experts to discuss the issue and will include simulated cyber crisis exercises in a hospital setting. The two-day conference is organized by the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix and the Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative.

Four sessions are open to the public and will feature addresses by:

  • Suzanne Schwartz, MD, MBA, Associate Director for Science & Strategic Partnerships at the FDA Center for Devices & Radiological Health.
  • Joshua Corman, Director of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center and a founder of Iamthecavalry.org, a global grassroots organization focused on issues when computer security intersects public safety and human life.
  • Scott Erven, a renowned security researcher known for pioneering work on a variety of devices, including defibrillators and IV infusion pumps. He is Managing Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
  • Christian Dameff, MD, an emergency medicine physician at Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix and UA College of Medicine – Phoenix graduate, who has researched security threats in health care infrastructure and medical devices.
  • Jeff Tully, MD, a pediatrician at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and UA College of Medicine – Phoenix graduate, who has researched ways to secure hospitals and patients in a new world of remote care, implantable medical devices and biohacking.

The keynote lectures are free to attend and open to the public. Seating is very limited. Registration is required at: http://bit.ly/cybermed

"This event will allow us to pressure-test assumptions of physicians, policymakers, medical device makers, and security researchers," said Beau Woods, Deputy Director of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council. "This will be – as far as we know – the first of its kind event."

Dr. Dameff said the sophisticated health care devices our patients need for survival are built from vulnerable systems that are just as hackable as our home computers.

“The viruses, malware and worms of the Internet don’t stop at the digital borders of hospitals,” he said.

The CyberMed Summit is meant to develop solutions to one of health care’s biggest threats by bringing together clinicians, hospital administrators, policy makers and device manufacturers.

Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Atlantic Council provides a forum for international, political, business and intellectual leaders to discuss international security and global economic prosperity.

The CyberMed Summit is sponsored by the University of Arizona Defense and Security Research Institute.

About the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix

The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix admitted its inaugural class of first-year medical students in August 2007 and is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The College inspires and trains exemplary physicians, scientists and leaders to optimize health and health care in Arizona and beyond. The College is uniquely positioned to accelerate the biomedical and economic engines in Phoenix and the State by leveraging vital relationships with key clinical and community partners. For more, visit phoenixmed.arizona.edu/tenyears.

About The Atlantic Council

The Atlantic Council promotes constructive leadership and engagement in international affairs based on the Atlantic Community's central role in meeting global challenges. The Council provides an essential forum for navigating the dramatic economic and political changes defining the twenty-first century by informing and galvanizing its uniquely influential network of global leaders. Through the papers we write, the ideas we generate, and the communities we build, the Council shapes policy choices and strategies to create a more secure and prosperous world.

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