November 2, 2018
This week, the Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center (HC3) opened in Washington, DC. In coordination with the September roll-out of the National Cyber Strategy by the White House Administration, the HC3 underscores HHS’ commitment to support and improve the health sector’s cybersecurity defenses.
“HHS is proud to work with the health community to better protect Americans’ health data and confidential information,” said Eric Hargan, the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Threats aren’t slowing down
PrivaPlan President David Ginsberg said he applauds the effort to create the HC3. “Healthcare faces unique threats and challenges as attacks increase on providers and health plans, and the amount of sensitive data used increases,” he said.
That is in fact why, according to the HHS, this mission is now more important than ever with the healthcare sector reporting over 400 major breaches from 2017 to 2018. The HHS noted that the threats are significant and hackers covet having the potential to access sensitive medical data, damage medical equipment, secure intellectual property for financial gain, or even conduct terrorist attacks.
Sharing of information is stressed
The Administration has designated the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as the lead organization to combat these threats and develop preventive strategies across the entire economy, with HHS given the role to focus cybersecurity support on information sharing within the healthcare and public health (HPH) sector.
“We know that the majority of the cybersecurity attacks that occurred over the past year could have been prevented with quality and timely information,” said Jeanette Manfra, Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity and Communications in DHS. “And the heightened importance of sharing information cannot be stressed enough.”
Working together for a better defense
The HC3’s role is to work with the sector, including practitioners, organizations, and cybersecurity information sharing organizations to understand the threats it faces, learn the bad guys’ patterns and trends, and provide information and approaches on how the sector can better defend itself.
“PrivaPlan’s extensive suite of services and education clearly support this governmental mission and we look forward to their guidance,” Ginsberg said.