HHS Emphasizes Data Sharing and Cybersecurity

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The Department of Health and Human Services announced on Monday two cooperative agreement funding opportunities for an Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (ISAO) for the health care and public health sector. The goal of the ISAO is to use information sharing as a means to strengthen response to health-related cyber threats.

“Establishing robust threat information sharing infrastructure and capability within the health care and public health sector is crucial to the privacy and security of health information, which is foundational to the digital health system,” said Karen DeSalvo, national coordinator for health IT. “This coordinated resource will focus on sharing the most up-to-date threat information across the health and public health sectors and will better equip health systems to identify potential threats and further protect electronic health information.”

The four goals of this information sharing endeavor include: providing information and education on cyber threats to health data, expanding educational outreach on these cyber threats, equipping those involved with the tools to take action on threat information, and facilitating information sharing within the health care and public health sector, for all organization sizes.

“Many parts of the health care system don’t have access to the information they need to protect themselves from these threats,” said Nicole Lurie, assistant secretary for preparedness and response. “Using an ISAO to exchange cyber threat information with these health care organizations, bi-directionally between HHS and the health care and public health sector, we hope to build the capacity to better prevent, detect, and respond to cyberattacks.”

The funding opportunities come from both the HHS Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) and Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and are worth a combined $250,000. The deadline for ONC is Aug. 19, and the deadline for ASPR is Aug. 25.

Jessie Bur
About Jessie Bur
Jessie Bur is a Staff Reporter for MeriTalk covering Cybersecurity, FedRAMP, GSA, Congress, Treasury, DOJ, NIST and Cloud Computing.
One Comment
  1. Anonymous | - Reply
    Nice article and read. It's good that the Department of Health and Human Services is taking action to help protect health information, but I have to wonder if it is too little and will be too late. Cyber security often pits slow to act agencies against passionate and driven hackers.

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