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HHS Produces Cybersecurity Guide for Healthcare Industry

HHS Produces Cybersecurity Guide for Healthcare Industry

By Marissa Bergen 
Contributor, InCyberDefense

Cybercrime is something that we all need to be aware of, no matter what our profession is. Because the healthcare industry is known for collecting sensitive patient information such as credit card and Social Security numbers, medical facilities often have been the target of attackers.

Personal information has been stolen directly from hospitals, insurance companies and other facilities that maintain medical records. Over the years, millions of Americans have had their personal health information breached or accidentally disclosed.

But as more healthcare records are transferred from paper to online files, cyber threats to patients continue to increase.

New Cybersecurity Guide Provides Useful Best Practices

In answer to that recurring threat, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has recently released “ Two years in the making, this free publication is the collaborative work of HHS and its industry partners.

It includes practical, understandable and implementable voluntary cybersecurity guidelines. The information is applicable to facilities of any size, from local clinics to regional hospital groups to large healthcare systems.

“Cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility. It is the responsibility of every organization working in healthcare and public health,” Janet Vogel, HHS Acting Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), said in a statement coinciding with the release of the new publication.

Development of HHS Document Prompted by 2015 Cybersecurity Act

The document was prompted by the Cybersecurity Act of 2015. This legislation mandated the development of practical cybersecurity guidelines that would work to reduce cybersecurity risks in the healthcare industry in a cost-effective manner.

Cybersecurity experts recognize the need to give practical advice to the healthcare industry based on ongoing cybercrime threats. The document was written with the expectation that it will reduce cybersecurity risks for a wide range of healthcare stakeholders.

Cybersecurity Guide Will Be Easy for Healthcare Facilities to Understand

The voluntary recommendations in the HHS guide are written in clearly understandable language that both clinicians and IT professionals will be able to implement. The guide also includes information that identifies possible threats and recommends actions to take to prevent attacks, as well as what to do should a cyberattack occur.

About the Author

Marissa Bergen is a freelance writer from Brooklyn, New York. Passionate about everything from fashion to technology, her writing experience has increased her awareness of digital marketing, cybersecurity and the ever-expanding World Wide Web. She now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children. Google her to find out more about her writing and her other life as a bass player in her family band, The CheeseBergens.