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HHS Looks to Strengthen Cybersecurity Info Sharing Within Health Care; HAP Forum to Facilitate Cybersecurity Discussion in PA

October 06, 2016

New federal funding has been dedicated to the National Health Information Sharing andAnalysis Center (NH-ISAC) to support the dissemination of cybersecurity information and education on cyber threats as well as to foster greater information sharing within the health care and public health sectors.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) awarded cooperative agreements totaling $350,000. This effort is intended to create a more robust exchange of information in order to facilitate the prevention, detection, and response to cybersecurity threats.

A streamlined cyber threat information sharing process will ensure broader dissemination of information on system breaches and ransomware attacks so health care providers can take appropriate action to protect their health information technology systems and ultimately, the health of their patients.

Additionally, the funding will support greater capacity of NH-ISAC to receive information from member health care entities.

Recent studies have shown the growing threat of ransomware and security breaches on the health care system. In half of all data breaches in health care, criminal attacks are the leading cause, marking a five percent increase from last year, according to the 2016 Ponemon Institute’s Sixth Annual Benchmark Study on Privacy and Security of Healthcare Data.

An upcoming session hosted by HAP for its member hospitals and health systems—Cybersecurity Forum with the FBI and DHS: Recognition, Response and Resources to Combat Cyber Threats and Breaches—will provide current information on the latest threats, prevention strategies, and resources available to improve cybersecurity.

Honorary co-hosts—U.S. Congressmen Lou Barletta (R, PA-11), Tom Marino (R, PA-10), and Scott Perry (R, PA-04)—will open the forum sharing their perspectives as members of the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee.

Representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will then provide an overview of cybersecurity threats, best practices for hospital and health system response protocols, and resources each agency has available to support the health care sector.

Cybersecurity subject matter questions may be directed to Martin Ciccocioppo, HAP’s vice president, research. Please contact Laura Stevens Kent, HAP’s vice president, federal advocacy, with questions about the forum.  

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