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by Don Kleoppel
Published on April 5, 2017

As health IT solutions become more robust and connected, the risk of cybersecurity threats increases. The health care industry is making great strides toward interoperability and data exchange, and as providers make technological progress, it�s essential that they look for additional ways to protect their patients and sensitive client data from cyber criminals.

Vigilance is one of the best ways to guard against cybersecurity threats in health care, and one of the keys to vigilance is sharing cyber threat intelligence. Cerner has become a member of the National Health Information Sharing and Analysis Center (NH-ISAC). By doing so, we're taking a proactive stance on cybersecurity by sharing timely, actionable information on cyber threats.

Protecting the HIT industry against cyber threats

NH-ISAC's mission is to enable and preserve the public trust by advancing the global health care sector's cyber and physical security protection and resilience and protecting against threats to that security. Sharing information between Cerner and NH-ISAC equips the health care industry with a new, protective suit of armor against cyber threats.

Through NH-ISAC, Cerner can leverage NH-ISAC's entire client base and other external partners — including professional associations such as Healthcare Information and Management Systems and Society (HIMSS), College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), Medical Device Innovation, Safety and Security Consortium (MDISS) and more — to strengthen the security system as a whole. Sharing threat information helps the industry stay current on risks in a more cost-effective and data-driven manner.

What cyber criminals are after, and how we can stop them

Health records are one of the most lucrative types of information a cyber criminal can steal. With private health data, you have access to a person's identity and medical history. This is permanent and private information about an individual — not something that can be changed like a credit card number or an address. In some cases, criminals with access to this information may use it to commit fraud or extortion.

Cerner's membership in NH-ISAC helps the industry's efforts to identify, disrupt and prevent malicious attacks. In the event of an incident, the attack vectors (the path by which a hacker gained access) and indicators of compromise (viruses or malware) are logged, validated and shared among trusted NH-ISAC community members so others can be prepared. What's reactive for one organization is proactive for others.

By joining NH-ISAC, Cerner will receive and share threat data across the global health sector. By leveraging this information, we can protect the health care records of the clients we serve and the patients they care for, while also bolstering the security of the health care industry as a whole.

For providers, Cerner's membership in NH-ISAC means an increase in critical intelligence about cyber threats that could impact the entire health care industry. By monitoring and proactively deterring new threats, we are bolstering the overall security of the health care industry and, most importantly, helping to further limit private patient data from being exploited.

By recognizing the critical nature of securing health care data and championing the sharing of security threats among those that serve the health care industry, we can improve the health care experience of patients and the ability of clinicians to improve patient outcomes.

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