HIMSS News

HHS Awards Funding to Help Protect Against Cyber Threats

On October 4th, the U.S. Department of Health of Human Services (HHS) announced it has awarded cooperative agreements totaling $350,000 to strengthen the ability of health care and public health sector partners to respond to cybersecurity threats. This agreement will help foster the development of a more vibrant cyber information sharing ecosystem within the healthcare and public health sector.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) awarded a cooperative agreement to the National Health Information Sharing and Analysis Center (NH-ISAC) of Ormond Beach, Florida to provide cybersecurity information and education on cyber threats to healthcare sector stakeholders. HHS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) awarded a cooperative agreement to NH-ISAC to help build the infrastructure necessary to disseminate cyber threat information securely to healthcare partners.

Through a streamlined cyber threat information sharing process, HHS will be able to send cyber threat information to a single entity, which then will share that information widely to support the full range of stakeholders. This approach helps ensure that smaller health care providers have the information they need to take appropriate action.

The agreements also will help build the capacity of NH-ISAC to receive cyber threat information from member healthcare entities. Information about any system breaches and ransomware attacks will be relayed through a more robust cyber information sharing environment, as will information about steps healthcare entities should take to protect their health information technology systems.