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Feds Seek Help With Healthcare Cybersecurity Protection | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

The HHS’ Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health is looking for ‘proven technologies developed for national security’ that can help health systems address cybersecurity attacks and ensure that patients continue to receive care.

Federal officials are looking for help developing cybersecurity solutions to address healthcare data breaches.

The Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), a division within the Health and Human Services Department, is seeking “proven technologies developed for national security” that can be used to counter cybersecurity attacks.

The effort comes as the nation’s healthcare industry faces an increase in malicious attacks, including ransomware attacks. Some 344 data breaches were reported by US healthcare organizations in 2022, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center’s 2022 Data Breach Report, the third straight year that healthcare was the top industry to face attacks.

[See also: Joint Commission Issues Guidelines for Dealing With a Cyberattack.]

One particular goal of the Digital Health Security (Digiheals) project, officials say, is to ensure that patients continue to receive the care they need in the wake of a cyberattack.

“The Digiheals project comes when the U.S. healthcare system urgently requires rigorous cybersecurity capabilities to protect patient privacy, safety, and lives,” ARPA-H Director Dr. Renee Wegrzyn said in a press release. “Currently, off-the-shelf software tools fall short in detecting emerging cyberthreats and protecting our medical facilities, resulting in a technical gap we seek to bridge with this initiative.”

[See also: How Sky Lakes Medical Center Overcame a Ransomware Attack.]

“By adapting and extending security, usability, and software assurance technologies, this digital health security effort will play a crucial role in addressing vulnerabilities in health systems,” added ARPA-H Program Manager Andrew Carney. “This project will also help us identify technical limitations of future technology deployments and contribute to the development of new innovations in digital security to better keep our health systems and patients’ information secure.”

Healthcare organizations are asked to submit proposals through the Sharing Health Applications Research for Everyone (SHARE) BAA. Officials say they expect to issue multiple awards, depending on the quality of proposals and availability of funds.

Eric Wicklund is the associate content manager and senior editor for Innovation, Technology, Telehealth, Supply Chain and Pharma for HealthLeaders.


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