A CISO’s Response to the Bipartisan Senate Health Care Cybersecurity Initiatives

By ClearDATA Founder and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Chris Bowen

Recently, US senators launched a working group within the HELP committee jurisdiction to thoroughly analyze and propose legislative solutions to enhance cybersecurity in the healthcare and public sectors. The objective is to ensure robust protection and fortification against potential threats.

As a CISO and founder of a company solely dedicated to protecting sensitive health information in the cloud, the committee’s focus on escalating cybersecurity threats within the healthcare sector is both timely and crucial, as ransomware is crippling our healthcare delivery systems, and violating patients seeking life-saving care.

To this end, I applaud the American Hospital Association and other key stakeholders for their efforts in urging the FBI and Department of Justice to adopt critical policy changes regarding ransomware. These policies ensure ransomware attacks against hospitals are treated as “threat-to-life” crimes, giving them higher investigative priority and resource allocation.

Because they’re both sensitive and permanent, health records are highly coveted by bad actors on the black market. Cyberattacks can compromise patient privacy, intellectual property, and even delay life-saving care. But we cannot forget that at the heart of these breaches are individuals – patients whose lives could be profoundly impacted by such incidents. As we address this issue, our first concern should always be the safety and well-being of these individuals, followed by concerns about service disruptions.

That healthcare and patient emphasis are exactly why I founded ClearDATA. I realized there was no company solely dedicated to creating environments specifically to protect patient data.

The challenges facing healthcare, from constantly evolving compliance standards to relentless cyber attackers, never cease, and neither do we. Our mission at ClearDATA is to ensure that healthcare organizations have the right tools and resources to keep PHI secure without having to struggle with inefficient healthcare data and cloud operations.

The Senate HELP Committee’s initiative to bolster cybersecurity in healthcare and the public health sector is a step in the right direction.  As we move forward, let’s ensure that our narrative and actions consistently place patient safety at the forefront. After all, it’s not just about protecting data; it’s about safeguarding lives.

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