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On Guard for Cyber Attacks

By Rick Pollack
May 19, 2017

The recent worldwide ransomware attack proves just how important cybersecurity is for hospitals. While many entities around the world saw their operations temporarily crippled by the attack, thankfully, few U.S. hospitals were successfully breached. That speaks to the tremendous efforts the field has made to improve cybersecurity and build incident response capabilities.

The AHA worked closely with HHS, as well as the White House, the FBI, and the FDA in response to this cyberattack to provide our members with the latest information on how to stay safe. And we’ll continue to keep you plugged into the newest developments as they happen.

This attack reminds us that cybersecurity must be a top priority…for everyone. Hospital computers, networks and connected devices contain a treasure trove of patients’ personal and financial data – making a very attractive target for cybercriminals.

The AHA offers an array of resources to help. That includes cybersecurity training tailored specifically for hospital and health system leaders. The training is not technical, but instead focuses on best-practice leadership behaviors to help reduce the likelihood and impact of an attack. You’ll learn strategies to mitigate, detect, respond to and recover from one. Training is in San Francisco this July, and Chicago this October. You can find more information here and register here.

The AHA stands ready to work with federal policymakers to craft a national response to this threat, one that gives law enforcement the resources they need to curtail cybercrime and ensures appropriate protection for organizations that are doing the right things and cooperating with law enforcement. Hackers are constantly changing their tactics, and warding off attacks is a growing challenge – but it’s one we can’t ignore. Protecting patients and their personal data is fundamental to our mission to provide care, and essential to maintaining patients’ trust.

 

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tag: Cybersecurity

Richard J. (Rick) Pollack is the President and CEO of the American Hospital Association.



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