Senate Intelligence Committee Questions Healthcare Cybersecurity

Senate Intelligence Committee Questions Healthcare Cybersecurity

Democrat Senator Mark Warner is asking healthcare organizations how the Senate Intelligence Committee can aid in beefing up cybersecurity laws.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) sent a letter to several major healthcare groups last week asking what they have done to prevent cyber attacks and how the federal government can help them address cyber issues.

"The increased use of technology in healthcare certainly has the potential to improve the quality of patient care, expand access to care (including by extending the range of services through Telehealth), and reduce wasteful spending," Warner wrote in the letter, according to a release. "However, the increased use of technology has also left the healthcare industry more vulnerable to attack."

Warner, the vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee and co-chair of the Senate Cybersecurity Caucus, cited a Government Accountability Office report that found that more than 113 million healthcare records were stolen in 2015 through cyberattacks.

Warner asked the groups, which included organizations like American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association and the National Rural Health Association, how they track connected systems in their facilities, how they have made their staff more aware of security issues and whether there are any federal laws that need to be changed to help them address cybersecurity issues.

"I would like to work with you and other industry stakeholders to develop a short and long term strategy for reducing cybersecurity vulnerabilities in the health care sector,” Warner wrote. “It is my hope that with thoughtful and carefully considered feedback we can develop a national strategy that improves the safety, resilience, and security of our health care industry.”

About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.

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