Health Sector Coordinating Council Unveils 5-Year Plan to Improve Healthcare Cybersecurity

The Health Sector Coordinating Council (HSCC) has released a new strategic plan aimed at enhancing cybersecurity measures within the healthcare and public health sectors. The plan, titled “Health Industry Cybersecurity Strategic Plan (HIC-SP),” was unveiled by the HSCC’s Cybersecurity Working Group, a coalition representing over 425 health industry entities and government agencies.

Greg Garcia, the executive director of HSCC’s CWG, highlighted the importance of adapting to the digital health landscape and the need to address evolving cyber threats. The plan sets out high-level cybersecurity goals with specific measurable objectives to strengthen healthcare cybersecurity over the next five years.

In 2023, ransomware attacks impacted 141 hospitals, and the average ransom demand was $1.5 million. Additionally, the number of major health data breaches reached an all-time high, affecting over 136 million individuals.

Key objectives of the HSCC strategic plan include increasing cybersecurity practices and resources across healthcare organizations, developing third-party risk management strategies, and implementing automation and emerging technologies like artificial intelligence.

The goal by 2029 is for healthcare sector cybersecurity to become a standard for public health and patient safety. This includes embedding security into technology and services, ensuring cybersecurity is a priority for healthcare leadership, and providing support for under-resourced health organizations.

The HSCC plan aligns with the Biden administration’s strategy to strengthen cybersecurity in the healthcare sector. Both plans emphasize the importance of implementing best practices, frameworks, and strategies to protect patient data and support the resilience of the healthcare system.

Overall, the HSCC’s strategic plan aims to create a more secure healthcare ecosystem, protect patient safety, and enhance the overall resilience of the healthcare and public health system.


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