HIMSS News

HHS Names Health Care Industry Cybersecurity Task Force Members

March 18, 2016


Task Force members represent a wide variety of organizations within the health care and public health sector, including hospitals, insurers, patient advocates, security researchers, pharmacy and pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, health IT developers and vendors, and laboratories.

On Wednesday, March 16, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the members of the Health Care Industry Cybersecurity Task Force.  The Cybersecurity Act of 2015 (PL 114-113) tasked HHS with the creation of a task force of subject matter experts within and outside government, who would be selected by the Secretary of HHS in coordination with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Task Force members represent a wide variety of organizations within the health care and public health sector, including hospitals, insurers, patient advocates, security researchers, pharmacy and pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, health IT developers and vendors, and laboratories. Many of the members are Chief Information Security Officers or equivalent positions within their organizations, while others have expertise in clinical medicine, software development, information security, and related fields.

The Obama Administration has made it clear that cybersecurity is one of the most important challenges facing our nation.  The Task Force and full implementation of the Cybersecurity Act of 2015 is part of the broad strategy to enhance the federal government’s cybersecurity, including both defensive and offensive capabilities, to tackle today’s increasingly sophisticated cyber actors. 

The Task Force will hold four in-person meetings over the course of the year that will be open to the public. A report will be the key output of the Task Force, which is expected to be delivered in the next year, as the term of the Task Force expires in March 2017.

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