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Cybersecurity in Health Care Topic for Federal Committee Hearing

April 05, 2017

The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations recently held a hearing about cybersecurity in the health care sector and strengthening public-private partnerships. The American Hospital Association (AHA) urged Congress to provide law enforcement and other appropriate agencies with the resources to investigate cyber attacks and proactively prevent them.

In its statement, the AHA shared that hospitals and health systems recognize that data held by health care organizations is highly sensitive, as well as valuable, and are taking cybersecurity challenges seriously. The AHA highlighted steps that hospitals and health systems are taking to secure their systems, including:

  • Implementing safety measures, testing, maintaining back-ups, and deploying the latest upgrades
  • Encrypting networks and workstations
  • Conducting threat assessments and working to identify vulnerabilities through extensive penetration testing
  • Conducting cybersecurity “tabletop” exercises or other simulations to assess their readiness to respond

The AHA also urged Congress to provide law enforcement and other appropriate agencies with the resources to investigate cyber attacks and proactively prevent them, including resources to share information proactively, to conduct investigations, and to assist victims and targets.

HAP will continue to assist its members in accessing available resources and developing stronger networks of information sharing and collaboration across the state in preparing for and responding to cyber threats.

HAP hosted a cybersecurity forum that provided members with current information about the latest cyber threats, prevention strategies, and resources available to improve cybersecurity. Speakers highlighted the importance of vigilance within hospitals and health systems in focusing on data integrity and patient safety, and the need for greater sharing and cooperation with the industry as a whole. In addition, hospitals and health systems were encouraged to build relationships with local Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials, and access available resources.

For more information, contact Scott Bishop, HAP’s senior vice president, legislative advocacy.

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