Army experience informs hospital CISO Heather Roszkowski's security efforts

Ensuring the security of health data, much like handling highly sensitive military information, requires immaculate attention to detail. To that end, the transition from information assurance manager for the U.S. Army to hospital chief information security officer was a seamless one for Heather Roszkowski of Fletcher Allen Health Care.

Roszkowski, according to Becker's Hospital CIO, used her Army experience--which included developing a "complete information security system" upon a deployment to Baghdad, Iraq, in 2005 and serving as director of IT and communications for the 15th Sustainment Brigade--as a blueprint for her work at the Burlington, Vermont-based academic medical center.

She called the parallels of protecting information in each setting "obvious," adding that her priority must be data security.

"I never want a physician questioning whether information is accurate or, worse, hacked," Roszkowski told Becker's.

As the threat of cyberattacks in the healthcare industry continues to increase, so too does demand for CISOs like Roszkowski. Data breaches by hospitals are an all-too-common occurrence, and a planned cyberattack simulation in April revealed the need for healthcare organizations to better engage their stakeholders in preparedness plans and to be more open about best practices to ensure industry growth.

What's more, speaking about the results of the most recent data breach investigations report by Verizon, also published in April, report co-author Suzanne Widup said that as the report relates to the healthcare industry, she has not "seen much in the way of leadership … for advocacy."

With that in mind, Roszkowski knows her responsibility is enormous.

"No one can do it justice, no matter how good you are, if you're part time," she told Becker's.

To learn more:
- read the Becker's article