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Health care group puts focus on current cybersecurity efforts

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The health care industry is joining other businesses in urging Congress and federal officials to consider existing cybersecurity efforts before enacting new measures to better protect American computer networks.

Congress is expected to revisit cybersecurity legislation before the end of the year and the White House is considering an executive order on the issue.

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., helped sponsor legislation that would have created more government oversight of certain critical networks, including those that control electric grids. After that bill floundered in the Senate partly because of industry opposition to new rules, Rockefeller wrote to leaders of Fortune 500 companies asking for their views on cybersecurity.

In a letter responding to Rockefeller and provided to Tech Daily Dose, the Healthcare Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST), which represents information security officers at the nation's largest health care organizations, outlined efforts to share information and collaborate to increase cybersecurity.

HITRUST argues that its system of helping companies collaborate with even their competitors is a model for lawmakers or the White House to consider before enacting new laws or regulations.

"While this spotlight on cybersecurity is necessary and productive, let's not forget that cybersecurity is not a 'one-size fits all' or 'check-box' solution," the letter states. "We support the industry working with the federal government and lawmakers to secure healthcare organizations' information assets, systems and medical devices--as long as they take into account the public-private threat intelligence collaborations that are already in place, learn from what is working, and minimize new burdensome assessments and audits that will divert resources from the real task of enhancing cyber threat detection and response capabilities."

(Image via rangizzz/Shutterstock.com)

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