Health organizations team up to thwart cyberattacks

Hospitals and medical schools across the U.S. are teaming up in their quest to thwart cyberattacks.

Security teams from the University of Maryland, Baltimore and its related hospitals, medical school, physicians' offices and academic health programs are meeting monthly to learn from each other about how to stave off infiltration of their electronic systems, reports The Baltimore Sun.

The facilities are putting emphasis on educating staff, students and others how to recognize a potential problem and what to do if an issue arises. In addition, beyond education and working to keep systems updated, they organizations are focusing on making their systems perform better overall.

The group recently collaborated to more quickly restore email and phone service after a fire in a building that housed physicians' offices.

Meanwhile, Intermountain Healthcare, the University of Utah and three other large healthcare organizations are collaborating at their own security operations center, according to MedCity News.

The center is an outgrowth of Intermountain's 24/7 security operations center set up two years ago. The forthcoming joint security center will be housed at the University of Utah. The idea behind it is to share a security "playbook" and information security resources.

While ransomware has been making headlines, Intermountain CIO Marc Probst said at the World Health Care Congress in Washington that phishing is of greater concern right now for his organization. "The old strategies just aren't going to work," Probst said, pointing to the rising sophistication of the attacks.

He indicated that Intermountain has altered its focus from protecting its perimeter to anticipating the next attack.

To learn more:
- here's the Baltimore Sun article
- read the Intermountain piece

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