Although recently proposed bills being considered by Congress and policy proposals from the Obama administration that take aim at cybersecurity are not specifically aimed health care, they do touch on the industry.

‘Year of the Health Care Data Breach’
A recent Ponemon Institute report found that nearly two-thirds of health care organizations say they have experienced an electronic information-based security incident within the last two years. Meanwhile, three major insurers so far this year have disclosed security incidents.

“[C]oming into the year, many security and privacy experts expected that this would be the year of the health care data breach, not unlike last year, where retail and financial services [were] under attack,” ID Experts President and Co-Founder Rick Kam said in a podcast accompanying the report, adding, “And 2015, really, unfortunately, has become the year of the health care data breach.”

Health Care Industry Can Benefit From ‘Lessons Learned’
Ann Patterson, senior vice president and program director of the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance, said, “One of the biggest things I think the health care industry can do is take some ‘lessons learned’ from other industries that have long done a very good job — such as financial services — of information sharing.” For example, she noted that the health care industry could further develop its Information Sharing and Analysis Center — a hub through which “critical infrastructures” share sector-related information within their sectors, with other sectors and with the government.

Members of Congress — as well as the White House — are seeking to encourage cyber-threat information sharing within industries and between the private sector and government. Two measures under consideration in the House — the Protecting Cyber Networks Act (HR 1560) and the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act (HR 1731) — would “formalize the process for information sharing and encourage private entities to share amongst themselves and with the government,” according to HITRUST.

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June 4, 2015 by Rachel Schulze, American Health Line

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