HITRUST launches service to fight cyber crime in healthcare

The Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) has announced the expansion of its information security framework, launching the first analysis service of cyber attacks specifically for the healthcare industry.

The Service, known as Cyber Threat Analysis Service (C-TAS) is a new component of HITRUST's Cyber Security Incident Response and Coordinator Center, and is intended to enable the industry to collaborate and create a "community defense" model against cyber attacks.

The Service will provide monitoring for healthcare-specific threats and risks, vulnerability reporting, knowledge sharing and collaboration to victim entities, technical support, and  research, reports and briefings.

"The HITRUST C-TAS represents a major step for the healthcare industry in proactively protecting vital electronic health data and the nation's critical infrastructure against cyber crime, cyber espionage and cyber activism," an announcement for the expansion said. "It also represents an industry first in tracking vulnerabilities for electronic health record systems [EHRs] and medical devices."

HITRUST is offering four different pricing tiers to healthcare organizations that wish to subscribe.

Security threats, including hacking, are on the rise. Symantec's latest internet security threat report--published in April--revealed that it blocked 5.5 billion attacks in 2011, versus 3 billion in 2010, an increase of more than 81 percent. There's no precise knowledge of the number of successful attacks.

EHR systems, in particular, vulnerable to such attacks because hackers often want the personal information that they contain and are connected to a provider's computer network.

To learn more:
- read the announcement
- here's Symantec's report