By Paul Sikora, Guest Columnist

(Nov. 22, 2021)—Today’s health care supply chain includes layers of networked technology that improves accuracy, reduces cost, and makes the process overall more efficient.  This same technology is vulnerable to attacks, hacks, phishing, counterfeiting accounts, and similar issues that plague networked health care systems.

Supply chain managers must aggressively pursue the implementation of this technology to gain maximum advantage, while also ensuring the safe implementation and protection of those technology solutions.

Safeguarding your healthcare system’s supply chain operations against such bad actors can be mitigated, as detailed in a Sept. 10, 2021, article at, which reads, in part: “Today’s hospital asset-tracking solutions must ensure that all products, equipment, consumables and Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) devices are always available and accessible. IoMT solutions should be built on a security-by-design foundation that includes multiple layers of protection.”

A few questions of your systems vendors – based on foundational elements that must be present in any internet-based systems – can determine if their solutions have the appropriate safeguards:

  • How is your system designed to protect the communications channel between the smartphone app, the medical device, and the cloud from malware and cyber-attacks?  Hackers are skilled at getting around insufficient safeguards, compromising the integrity and identities of authorized users. This opens the door to counterfeiting, or permitting financial transactions based on falsified data.
  • How is your system designed to protect the integrity and identities of authorized users?  Seamless connectivity between sanctioned users, their approved devices, and the cloud helps ensure that the system always has the most recent device data and can immediately change device performance. It can keep out those intent on plundering your data for their own ill-gotten gains.

With increased convenience comes increased risk. The assets you control, the inventory you purchase, the invoices you process, and the patients who depend on you for their care and safety, all deserve the tightest protection possible against unwanted outside influences.

The ideas listed here are offered as general guidance only. Taking stock of your cyber health is key, and securing assistance from supply chain and IT professionals can add significant value and peace of mind. Contact our team at OC Reilly to talk more about safeguarding your supply chain operations.

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