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Cybersecurity Must be a Priority for Everyone

By Chantal Worzala
December 4, 2017

Our hospital caregivers battle viruses every day – and that includes keeping safe from malicious malware viruses attacking hospital computers, networks and connected devices.

We are moving deeper and deeper into the digital age. Indeed, Cyber Monday showed us to what extent our lives have become increasingly digital. 

As we witnessed during last summer’s global ransomware attack, we live in a world where cyber criminals can infiltrate critical hospital and health system infrastructure, disrupt operations and, sadly, put patients’ privacy at risk.

The AHA and hospital and health system leaders take these cybersecurity challenges seriously because protecting patients and their personal data is a 24-7, year-round responsibility. Hospitals and health systems are continuously working to create a culture of security through educating and training staff, implementing technical security measures, testing systems, maintaining back-ups, and deploying the latest upgrades.

But cybersecurity is more than just an IT issue – it requires an organization-level-risk reduction and response plan, leadership support and board oversight, and vigilance from everyone with access to the network. Getting involved in sharing information opportunities is crucial to staying ahead of emerging cybersecurity risks.

That’s why the AHA has designed a webinar series to help hospital and health system leaders understand the risks ahead and how to manage them. It is part of the many resources we provide to help you respond to cybersecurity threats.

Be assured that we will continue to provide the tools and resources you need to assess and manage the cybersecurity risk. Just as we continue to work closely with the administration and Congress for policies that give federal authorities the resources to curtail cybercrime, support you in your work to secure systems, and ensure 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. Cybersecurity must be a top priority for everyone. Because protecting patients and their personal data is fundamental to our mission to provide care, and essential to maintaining patients’ trust.

 

 

Topic: Quality and Patient Safety
Tag: Cybersecurity

Chantal Worzala, Vice President of Health Information and Policy Operations



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