February 29, 2024

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U.S. Unveils Healthcare Cybersecurity Toolkit

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have collaborated to organise for addressing the cybersecurity issues confronting the U.S. healthcare and public health (HPH) sector. The focus was on bridging resource and cyber capability gaps between the government and industry. In preparation, CISA and HHS unveiled a specialised cybersecurity toolkit designed to assist the healthcare and public health sectors.

CISA Deputy Director Nitin Natarajan emphasised the increasing appeal of healthcare and public health organisations, portraying them as high-value yet vulnerable targets – often referred to as “target-rich, cyber-poor” entities. This allure is due to the vast range of sensitive information healthcare organisations possess, including personal data, financial records, medical histories, and a multitude of medical devices.

For context, in 2023 alone, CISA intervened by issuing pre-ransomware notifications to more than 65 U.S. healthcare organisations to thwart ransomware encryption and alert them to early-stage ransomware activities.

Natarajan emphasised their unwavering dedication to partnering with HHS and the healthcare sector to enhance the safety of health organisations, both nationally and worldwide. Their mission, known as “Securing Our World,” encompasses educational endeavours targeting individuals, companies, and government agencies, aiming to strengthen cybersecurity measures.

HHS Deputy Secretary Andrea Palm highlighted the growing number and severity of cyberattacks against healthcare institutions, which jeopardise patient safety and trust. Partnering with CISA and industry experts, HHS strives to empower healthcare organisations, especially under-resourced ones, with vital cybersecurity tools and guidance.

In today’s digital healthcare landscape, where patient and medical data storage, medical procedures, and patient communication heavily rely on digital technologies, the exposure to cyber risks has grown significantly. This situation is compounded by the diverse array of challenges that hospitals, health centres, and clinics face in making more cybersecurity investments.

Throughout the past year, a collaborative effort involving CISA, HHS, and the Health Sector Coordinating Council (HSCC) Cybersecurity Working Group has been underway. This alliance leverages the combined strengths of each partner. CISA, as the nation’s cybersecurity agency, brings its technical expertise, while HHS contributes its wealth of knowledge in healthcare and public health. Additionally, the HSCC Cybersecurity Working Group provides invaluable practical insights from industry experts who grapple with cybersecurity issues in the healthcare and public health sectors daily.

A pivotal component of this ongoing initiative is the introduction of a new Cybersecurity Toolkit for Healthcare and Public Health, officially unveiled during the roundtable event. Accessible online, this toolkit serves as a centralised resource hub, encompassing:

  1. CISA’s Cyber Hygiene Services employ vulnerability scanning to enhance protection against known vulnerabilities, reduce the risk of cyberattacks, and encourage the adoption of best practices.
  2. HHS’s Health Industry Cybersecurity Practices, developed in collaboration with the industry, outlines effective cybersecurity measures that healthcare organisations of all sizes can embrace to bolster their cyber resilience.
  3. HHS and the HSCC’s HPH Sector Cybersecurity Framework Implementation Guide are designed to assist organisations in assessing and enhancing their level of cyber resiliency while offering recommendations on integrating cybersecurity with their broader information security and privacy risk management endeavours.

As the threat landscape evolves, these efforts underscore the commitment of CISA and HHS to bolster the resilience of healthcare and public health organisations in the face of escalating cybersecurity challenges. By furnishing them with the tools, knowledge, and guidance needed to enhance their cyber defences, the two agencies aim to safeguard not only the integrity of their data and systems but, more importantly, the well-being of patients who rely on their services. These comprehensive resources will remain invaluable in the ongoing battle to secure the healthcare sector against the evolving cyber threats it faces.

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Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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