Healthcare sector to test for cyber attack

The simulation will be the first time insurers, hospitals, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and the Health and Human Services Department will collaborate on a test

By Healthcare Facilities Today

The healthcare sector, with the federal government, will conduct simulated attacks against health care networks this spring to test their vulnerability, according to an article on the NextGov website.

The simulation, scheduled for March, will be the first time insurers, hospitals, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and the Health and Human Services Department will collaborate on a test, according to the article. Health care has been named one of 17 critical sectors that, if disrupted by a cyberattack, could have far-reaching consequences.

“Our goal for the exercises is to identify additional ways that we can help the industry be better prepared for and better able to respond to cyberattacks. This exercise will generate valuable information we can use to improve our joint preparedness,” HHS Chief Information Security Officer Kevin Charest said in the article. 

It is unknown whether the event will test The Health Information Trust Alliance, a medical information technology advocacy group, will coordinate the event.

The medical industry already suffers from data breaches that have jeopardized patient privacy and facilitated fraud, the article said. According to a 2012 Ponemon Institute study, 94 percent of health care organizations experienced at least one data breach during the previous two years. 

The aim of the exercise, called CyberRX, is to identify weaknesses in preparedness and spot areas where information sharing could be improved, according to the article. A second simulation is planned for this summer. 

Read the article.



January 20, 2014

Topic Area: Information Technology

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