Bill Addresses Healthcare Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity remains a top concern of healthcare organizations and Congress.

By Jeff Wardon, Jr., Assistant Editor

Healthcare organizations continue to find themselves caught in the digital crossfire of cyberattacks. Left scrambling to protect important data, they can leave their facilities vulnerable to attack. 

Several bills have been introduced that aim to help ease and counteract the burden of that struggle, with the latest coming from two U.S. senators -- Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Angus King (I-ME). 

Senators Rubio and King have introduced the Strengthening Cybersecurity in Health Care Act, according to a press release from Rubio’s website. This bill comes in response to the growing cyberattacks on healthcare organizations and the resulting data breaches. The bill would mandate regular assessments of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services cybersecurity systems and the submission of these evaluations to Congress. 

Related: Lurie Children's Health Confirms Cyberattack

“In recent years, several of Maine’s major healthcare providers have been the victims of cyberattacks,” King says. “This threat to America’s critical infrastructure is real and could literally mean the difference between life and death. We must take proactive steps to enhance the cybersecurity of our healthcare and public health sectors. 

The increase in cyberattacks comes with a high cost, too. Since 2016, ransomware attacks have cost healthcare organizations $77.5 billion in downtime alone, according to a study by Comparitech. The study also found that more than 52 million patient records were affected in 10,000 different facilities. 

Jeff Wardon, Jr. is the assistant editor for the facilities market. 

February 14, 2024

Topic Area: Information Technology , Security

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