“Medical care is the next cyber warfare,” technologist Janine Medina explained Thursday at a panel on the cybersecurity problems posed by the emerging prevalence of internet-connected medical and body-embedded devices.

Medina appeared alongside several other panelists at the Atlantic Council to discuss how “Internet of Bodies” (IoB) devices could pose security challenges requiring novel regulatory solutions. The conversation comes in the context of several high-profile attacks using Internet of Things-related devices, as well as the major leak of collected personal information after the hacking of credit-rating agency Equifax in July. According to Medina, as well as co-panelist Andrea Matwyshyn, the increasing incorporation of Internet of Things devices into human bodies, especially for medical purposes, exposes new risks for which individuals, corporations, and the government are insufficiently prepared.

The so-called “Internet of Things” (IoT) refers to the trove of internet-enabled devices beyond one’s laptop: the internet-connected car or thermostat or alarm clock. One analysis suggests there are now some 8.4 billion IoT devices, projected to grow to 20.4 billion by 2020.

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