HHS to Launch Cybersecurity Center to Tackle Threats in Healthcare Sector

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will soon launch a healthcare focused cybersecurity initiative modeled on the Homeland Security Department’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), according to a press release

This was revealed by Christopher Wlaschin, Chief Information Security Officer at HHS, at the 2017 ACT-IAC Health IT-Mobile Forum on April 20.

The cybersecurity center will be called the Health Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (HCCIC, and would seek to reduce the extensive “noise” in the health care industry about cyber threats and to analyze and “deliver best practices and the two or three things that a small provider, a small office, a doc in a box can do to protect his patient’s privacy and information security around those systems,” said Wlaschin.

The HCCIC would also work with developers of mobile health apps to promote data security best practices in that fast-growing area. With the growing proliferation of mobile health apps adding to existing concerns such as ransomware, it is not surprising that HHS is investing in new resources like the HHCIC.

The healthcare sector remains a prime target for hackers. In 2016, a number of ransomware attacks on hospitals prompted large payouts and potentially put patients at risk.