Caston Thomas profile picture

Caston Thomas

President of Interworks LLC

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The last two years have been an interesting journey for me. It started out, as a bit of an outsider, trying to solve a technical problem almost every hospital is wrestling with today, and that is how to secure biomedical devices.

It’s been a journey that has taken me from, originally, mostly a technical focus, which was centered around network and device security. It grew into all aspects of creating a comprehensive medical device security program.

Today marks one of my milestones, producing a step-by-step guide that lays the foundation for the technologies that economically and effectively fulfill our responsibility to secure these life-critical devices.

The white paper focuses on the five steps to address the technical side of the three-legged stool... People... Process... Technology... And yes, my team & I decided that addressing the technology would be prudent – not because it is the most important, but because too many organizations start with the technology. In our whitepaper, we start with process.

Our team looks forward to our next milestones:

  • Creating two additional white papers about the people and process sides of this equation.
  • Summarizing with a synopsis on how to tie those ‘three legs of the stool’ with an overlay platform.
  • Rolling out a workshop to be given at conferences and in major metropolitan areas, with workbook and facilitation so that hospitals can rapidly develop the framework for a medical device security program.
  • Translating the workshops address similar challenges in other industries such as...
    • Smart factories
    • Smart buildings, Smart cities & Smart campuses
    • Utilities/chemical/petrochemical/pipeline/water treatment facilities
    • Transportation & maritime industries

The premise that underlies the approach is that, “If we try to support and secure IOT in the same way we have with information systems, we will fail catastrophically. At the same time, the IT function MUST be a critical participant in developing the security and support processes for IoT.” A critical factor to our success is to remove the complexities of supporting and securing IoT so that we can scale to meet the massive challenges of the near-exponential growth of sensors and devices becoming a critical part of our lives and our networks. There’s obviously more to it, so stay tuned!

I hope you enjoy this white paper. It has evolved into something for which I am quite proud and thankful for the insight I have received from my customers and partners. I would like nothing more than to create a groundswell of collaboration that will improve our lives and our networks, in protecting patients and the institutions that are in place to provide care in our times of most need.