Guarding Against Hardware Piracy
While digital security can protect electronic devices against
hacking and unauthorized cloning, it cannot prevent prosthetics
and other high-value mechanical devices from being reverse-en-gineered and illegally manufactured. To address this problem,
the Watershed Idea Foundry has developed a unique method of
protecting the security and integrity of prosthetic devices called
Nick Cordaro, CEO of Watershed, says that counterfeiting is a
well-known risk for orthopedic implants. “It’s a huge market and
there are many companies on a global scale ready, willing and
able to duplicate top selling medical implants. They’ll pay cyber
thieves top dollar for design information.”
“CAD data, product data, manufacturing data are all hackable.
However, much more goes into actually building a device, includ-
ing choosing the materials, the actual assembly process, testing
and so forth. Just stealing a blueprint is only the frame, it’s not the
artwork that goes into that frame,” Brian Kieser, Managing Partner
of Fountainhead says. “Counterfeit parts [often] use the lowest end
materials and assembly methods. If counterfeit implants are used,
patients are subject to unforeseen risks that are mitigated with
“With Structural Encoding, we encode complete data directly
into the parts,” Cordaro says. “Our technology gives orthopedic
implants traceability and very powerful authentication. No outside
hacker can get into the data of these parts for build information.
The part must go in and be X-rayed to read the data. You can’t get
it electronically. It is not stored in the Cloud. If you have an implant
with an RFID tag and you walk through a scanner they immediate-
ly know everything about you. With ours, nothing is transmitted.
(Credit: Icon Labs)
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