May 17, 2020

Intelligent Fingerprinting secures further US funding for its revolutionary drug screening technology

Admin
3 min
Intelligent Fingerprinting secures further US funding for its  revolutionary drug screening technology.jpg
Written by Jennifer Denby The funding boost will be used to support the final stages in the development of the companys non-invasive drug screening te...

Written by Jennifer Denby

 

The funding boost will be used to support the final stages in the development of the company’s non-invasive drug screening technology, which uses the unique Intelligent FingerprintingTM analysis technique to screen for multiple drugs of abuse and provides results in less than ten minutes.Today’s announcement follows an earlier investment of £2 million from US backers in 2012. In the past 15 months Intelligent Fingerprinting has also secured almost £700,000 in government-funded grants. Dr Jerry Walker, CEO of Intelligent Fingerprinting, said the latest funding comes at an exciting stage as the product nears commercial launch. “This additional funding is fantastic news as we enter the final phases of development.

Allowing us to accelerate the device’s introduction to the global market, the investment will be used as working capital to fund late stage product development and to support investment in manufacturing,” Dr Walker explained. “The ongoing support from investors validates our assertion that we have a technology with massive potential,” he continued.

Non-invasive and easy-to-use, Intelligent Fingerprinting’s drug screening device eliminates the need for the specialist collection arrangements and biohazard disposal facilities associated with conventional drug testing methods involving blood, urine or saliva samples. The new technology is expected to revolutionise drug testing globally in many sectors including criminal justice, drug rehabilitation and the workplace. Dr Walker added: “We’re very encouraged by the continuing financial support from investors here and in the USA. They’re clearly as excited as we are about the immense potential of our ground-breaking technology.”

The global market for drug screening was recently estimated to reach $2.6 billion in 2014, growing at ~5% per year (BCC Research LLC), with the US alone accounting for more than 50% of the global drug testing market.In 2012 the company granted North American marketing and distribution rights in the criminal justice sector to Texas-based company Smart Start Inc.The device is expected to go into pilot production in 2014. www.intelligentfingerprinting.com

 

For media information please contact Jennifer Denby at Tribe PR:

Email: [email protected] Tel: +44 (0)1603 417722

About Intelligent Fingerprinting

 

Intelligent Fingerprinting specializes in the development of non-invasive diagnostic screening technology for fast and convenient point-of-care testing. World’s First Handheld Fingerprint Drug-Screening Device. The company has designed the world’s first handheld fingerprint drug-testing device, which is expected to go into pilot production in 2014. Requiring only a single fingerprint sample to screen for commonly abused groups of drugs, this compact and portable device provides results in ten minutes. Drug Screening From a Single Fingerprint

The company’s ground-breaking diagnostic technique detects drug use by analyzing chemicals (known as metabolites) contained in the minute traces of sweat found in a fingerprint. Metabolites are chemicals produced by the body as a result of normal metabolic processes. They can be used to identify the substances a person has ingested, inhaled or injected. Because the technique detects the drug metabolites rather than the drugs themselves, a positive result proves that the person being screened has taken the drug and not simply touched a contaminated surface.

The device captures a detailed image of the fingerprint during analysis. If required, this image can be used to confirm personal identity in relation to the test result, ruling out false positives due to sample mix ups.

Global Opportunities Across Many Market Sectors

Intelligent Fingerprinting has attracted worldwide interest in its technology for a wide range of drug-screening applications including criminal justice, drug rehabilitation, prisons and the workplace. The technique has potential for many other uses including healthcare diagnostics and homeland securityapplications.

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Jun 15, 2021

Why are healthcare networks so vulnerable to attacks? 

Cybersecurity
IoT
healthcarenetwork
cyberattacks
5 min
Elisa Costante from Forescout Technologies gives us the lowdown on how vulnerabilities in the healthcare sector happen, and how to secure them

Forescout Research Labs has published a study on the vulnerabilities impacting the healthcare industry’s connected devices. The research division of Forescout Technologies has published the report as part of its Project Memoria, and it reveals that healthcare organisations are affected five times more by TCP/IP vulnerabilities than any other sector. 

Elisa Costante, a software engineer and Forescout's Vice President of Research, explains why this is and how to prevent it. 

What is Project Memoria? 
Project Memoria aims to improve the security of TCP/IP stacks and understand what  the main security issues are. TCP/IP stacks are a very core component of every network device, whether it's an iPhone connected to the internet, or a robot controlling  the process of manufacturing. If they're connected to the internet they need to have a piece of software controlling communication. 

There are several variants of this software and we're analysing them to understand if they have security bugs or vulnerabilities that if misused by attackers, could lead to disruption of the device itself, and to the network at large. Our goal is to make the industry aware of the problem, and engage with stakeholders as well as the customers. 

Why is healthcare particularly vulnerable? 
This is what the data is telling us. We have a device cloud, which is like a data lake of device information. This device cloud has a lot of information about the devices, like who the vendor is, what the role of the network is, and which vertical this is. We are able to leverage this information, and join it with the intelligence we have from Project Memoria to understand which devices are vulnerable. 

We found that in healthcare there was a huge spike in the number of devices that are vulnerable - as much as  five times more than in other verticals. The reason seems to be because of the number of devices, and because of the intrinsic difficulty of addressing the problem. 

The problem surrounding TCP/IP stacks is that there is not one single vendor that is vulnerable; on average, a healthcare organisation has 12 vendors that are vulnerable. 
Let's say that on average we have 500 devices per healthcare organisation.  Then you need to contact 12 vendors for each of these. These vendors then need to issue a patch to secure the device, and this patch cannot just be automatically delivered and installed in 500 devices. You have to be realistic and think about whether each of the devices  is critical, for example if it goes down will it turn the lighting system off, or stop the MRI machine from working. 

Patches are very complex to deploy. On top of that, the patch needed might not even be available.  That's why we want to understand this problem better  so we can provide solutions. 

How much of the responsibility of keeping a device secure lies with the vendor? 
There are responsibilities that lie with all the different stakeholders, and one of these is  the vendor. There might be multiple vendors involved, which makes it very complex  from a management perspective. 

For instance the device at the end of the chain, which might be an MRI, contains a board that has a connectivity module, and this has one of the stacks that is vulnerable, which could have four different vendors. 

If the vendor responsible for the TCP/IP stack releases a patch, this patch has to go down the chain. We identified chains with a length of six vendors, so you can imagine how complex this is. Some vendors have good hygiene security and some don't because they don't know how to deal with it - they need training. 

This is a new issue related to the software bill of materials, which is being tabled for legislation at the moment to create policies regarding the complexity of the supply chain. We need to shed light on this issue so that legislators can put these policies in place to help with security.  

What can healthcare providers do themselves to stay secure? 
Visibility is important; they need to know what they have in their network. In the case of vulnerable devices they should find out if there's a patch available. If there isn't, because it's an old device for example, but it's still critical to the system, they may want to isolate it so it only communicates with the devices it really needs to. 

Interestingly enough, our research found that most of the healthcare organisations we analysed had a flat network, which means they don't have isolated devices. For instance, a drugs dispensing machine, which you typically find in pharmacies,  is connected to a building automation light system, which is connected to a switch. This is also connected to an IoT sensor device. Why would you have all of them together in the same place? 
The first step is having this information, which often comes as a surprise. Then you can take action; you can segment a network, and if you can't do that you can control the network's access by isolating devices that are risky.

How can Forescout help healthcare organisations? 
Forescout is uniquely positioned to help. We provide visibility end-to-end, which means having a full inventory of devices that includes quite granular detail, so they can know what the operating system is, who the vendor is and so on. Then we enable them to do network segmentation. 

This enables organisations to write policies around how to secure their networks, for example if a device is vulnerable specify which connected devices must be isolated, or which device it must communicate with exclusively. 

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