Cyberthreat spike spotlights need for new mindset
Cyber threats to healthcare systems and patient data have skyrocketed in recent years.
Data breaches more than doubled in 2013 from 2012, in fact, and it’s no secret that major breaches affected millions of patient records in 2014.
“These threats are taking the form of very complex attacks,” says Lisa Gallagher, vice president of technology solutions for HIMSS. “And they come from various perpetrators, including organized crime, financial theft rings, medical identity theft rings. We also have seen nation-states and foreign actors attacking health systems.”
The Cybersecurity Command Center at HIMSS15 will have experts and resources on hand to help attendees understand the nature and variety of cyberthreats — and learn how to protect their systems and patients from data, identity and financial theft.
Such a dramatic increase in cyberattacks on health systems requires a different mindset from health IT professionals, Gallagher says.
“We need to evolve from a compliance mindset to preparing to defend against sophisticated cybersecurity threats to health networks and data assets,” she says.
HIMSS for some time has offered health IT professionals a number of security toolkits online (in the Resource Library under “Privacy & Security”), but this is the first year the organization has featured a landmark dedicated to cybersecurity at its annual conference.
The center will feature presentations by security experts and vendor representatives, as well as interactive security challenges designed to facilitate learning.
“Those could range from testing your cybersecurity awareness to learning about specific tools or technologies by using them in an exercise,” Gallagher says.
By concentrating so many cybersecurity resources in one area, she says, attendees “won’t have to go all over the show floor to get information.”
The Cybersecurty Command Center will be located in the North Building, Hall B, Booth 8175.