Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), who chairs the Intelligence Committee, released a report stressing the importance of cybersecurity and urging Congress to act.
According to Warner, healthcare “...is the most attractive or lucrative part of ransomware. People’s personal health information is even more valuable than financial information. Nobody’s in charge. I went to go see the org chart again, and I counted four separate Cabinet secretaries that touch health care cybersecurity. You do need somebody in charge. Cyber is always an afterthought. It has to be built into health care as new applications and even treatment modalities are created.”
And in an apparent ransomware attack in January 2023 on NextGen Healthcare - a major electronic healthcare records company - illustrated just how vulnerable the larger U.S. health industry is to growing cybersecurity threats. Said NextGen, we are “...aware of this claim and we have been working with leading cybersecurity experts to investigate and remediate. We immediately contained the threat, secured our network, and have returned to normal operations.”
Warner stressed that standards in terms of cybersecurity measures and regulations are critical because of the “...amount of damage that’s being done…”
While the Defense Industrial Base (DIB) has often received the lion share of attention in terms of cybersecurity rules and regulations in recent years, Warner stressed the importance of securing America’s vast and complex healthcare industry from attacks. Said Warner, “We’re one major breach away from Draconian efforts…”, so let’s fix the problem ahead of time.
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