Yesterday, Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., sent letters to various healthcare groups to seek information on ways to best improve cybersecurity within the healthcare industry. Senator Warner expressed his desire to work with the healthcare industry to develop a cybersecurity strategy to protect against system vulnerabilities.

“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 healthcare sector,” Sen. Warner wrote.

A press release also stated that Sen. Warner pointed towards poor oversight and expressed his concern of cyberattack impact on the industry in the letters. Medical information stored on the systems contain sensitive personal information that’s enticing for cyber criminals including social security numbers, addresses, and personal health history. Without proper cybersecurity measures in place, healthcare systems could be easy targets for ransomware attacks.

“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,” the senator said. “However, the increased use of technology has also left the healthcare industry more vulnerable to attack,” he added.

Warner asked the organizations to respond to questions about their security posture, modernization efforts, and recommendations on what the Federal government can do to help. The letter was sent to organizations like the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, and the National Rural Health Association, among others.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.