Hospital funding may be tied to compliance: US sets new cybersecurity standards

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In a bid to combat the alarming rise in ransomware attacks on healthcare facilities, the US government is gearing up to introduce stringent cybersecurity standards for hospitals. The new rules, spearheaded by the White House and set to be announced soon, will link federal funding to strict compliance with these cybersecurity measures.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are at the forefront of this initiative, formulating regulations that mandate hospitals to fortify their network defenses as a prerequisite for receiving federal dollars. This move comes in the wake of a troubling surge in cyberattacks on healthcare institutions.

2023 alone saw at least 46 US hospital corporations falling prey to ransomware, resulting in significant breaches of sensitive patient data and aggressive extortion attempts.

This proposed solution isn’t without its critics. Emsisoft Threat Analyst Brett Callow warns that the strategy of tying funding to cybersecurity compliance, while well-intentioned, might backfire. He suggests that it could inadvertently exacerbate the situation, rather than mitigate it. As the government tightens its grip on hospital cybersecurity, the healthcare sector braces for a transformative phase in digital defense.

Key Points:
– US government to introduce new cybersecurity standards for hospitals.
– Federal funding will be conditional on meeting these standards.
– CMS drafting rules in response to rising ransomware attacks.
– At least 46 US hospital corporations were hit by ransomware in 2023.
– Concerns raised over the potential negative impact of these measures.

 

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