The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission, the standards development organization and accrediting body for groups that exchange electronic health data, has signed memorandum of understanding with the National Health Information Sharing and Analysis Center to better coordinate their security initiatives.
As healthcare data breaches and and cyberattacks have "reached epidemic proportions," according to the two groups, they'll now work toward better risk mitigation, response and recovery after HIPAA events.
EHNAC and NH-ISAC will collaborate to accelerate the adoption of secure, identity-validated health information exchange via the Direct protocol, and for additional uses of Direct for secure and encrypted healthcare data and information exchanges.
"The healthcare sector is coming under increasing threat as can be seen in a number of incidents in the news," said Denise Anderson, president of the NH-ISAC, noting that the collaboration "is a first step in helping to keep our members' operations resilient and safe as well as protected."
Moving forward, the two groups will work toward educational campaigns, situational awareness intelligence, information sharing, sector and cross-sector impact analysis, incident response, as well as leading practice and workforce education from both organizations, officials said.
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“There is an urgent need to increase awareness and identify means of prevention for the seemingly endless string of headline-grabbing cyberattacks this past year," said Lee Barrett, executive director of EHNAC. "The unfortunate fact is that hacks have increasingly become a part of digital life – and no person or organization is immune.
"With the dedicated focus of our collaborative teams, NH-ISAC and EHNAC look to make great strides in effective awareness and prevention tactics to minimize the crippling impact of these cybersecurity attacks," he added.