The Department of Veterans Affairs inked an agreement with testing and safety firm Underwriters Laboratories to help secure their connected medical devices from cyberattacks, according to a new report from Federal Computer Week.
The agreement is being made through the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement Program, according to the report.
The deal will position UL to provide its Cybersecurity Assurance Program to the VA’s Office of Information and Technology to improve cybersecurity standards and practices for connected medical devices, device data and other connected system.
“Vulnerabilities can arise from many different sources. We really need to look at healthcare as part of our critical infrastructure,” UL medical software and systems interoperability global principal engineer Anura Fernando told FCW yesterday.
Underwriters Laboratories is slated to work with the VA to identify its vulnerabilities in both devices and software as the products are manufactured, as well as providing a “baseline cybersecurity hygiene platform,” according to the report.
Medical devices and the healthcare industry as a whole have been significantly vulnerable to cybersecurity issues as more and more devices and systems become connected and open to outside sources.
The VA reported last year that the number of affected or compromised medical devices has declined, according to the report, but that the agency still operates with a number of legacy systems with outdated software updates.