A group tasked with improving cybersecurity will have a tough time assuaging a fearful and targeted healthcare industry whose frontline defenders are often unwilling to talk about their experiences.
“People are reluctant to talk about it” because it gives the “bad guys” ideas, Theresa Meadows said. She's senior vice president and chief information officer at Cook Children's Health Care System, Fort Worth, Texas, and a member of the newly created HHS task force for healthcare cybersecurity.
A half-dozen hospitals have been hit by ransomware attackers in the past month, and Meadows said she doesn't see that slowing down any time soon.
The 21-member task force, authorized by the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015, is charged with looking at what other industries are doing to protect their computer systems, networks and digital data. The group's first face-to-face meeting is scheduled for April 20-21 in Washington, D.C.
Members will look for the best ways organizations of all types are keeping data and connected medical devices safe and secure, said Mary Wakefield, HHS acting deputy secretary, in a statement released when members to the task force were named.
The group will eventually report its findings to Congress.