Morning Security Brief: Healthcare Cybersecurity, DHS Budget, Piracy, and More

By Sherry Harowitz

► The Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) has released guidelines to help healthcare organizations get a snapshot of their cyberrisk. The new cybersecurity guidance is available for review via HITRUST Central. HITRUST is a group of CISOs representing the largest U.S. healthcare organizations. In February, in connection with the White House Cybersecurity Executive Order for Critical Infrastructure Protection, HITRUST formed a cybersecurity working group, which is charged with developing recommendations to give to the National Instistute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which the White House has charged with developing a cybersecurity framework for critical infrastructure. The newly released guidelines are the first document to come from the working group. Even before the White House began its push for a cybersecurity framework, HITRUST was working on a Common Security Framework (CSF) for the healthcare industry. To that end, it established the HITRUST Cyber Threat Intelligence and Incident Coordination Center (C3) more than a year ago to gather and share cyberthreat intelligence specific to the healthcare industry. C3 "reports a marked increase in the frequency and sophistication of cyber attacks targeted at healthcare organizations,” reports HITRUST. 

► U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano testified before the House Commmittee on Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee about the DHS 2014 budget request. “The FY 2014 Budget for DHS is $60.0 billion in total budget authority and $48.5 billion in gross discretionary funding.” That includes $5.6 billion in Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) appropriations for recovery from major disasters. “The Department is projected to spend approximately $1.2 billion over FYs 2014–2018 on procurement of aviation assets,” she said. She also noted that “In 2012, DHS issued warnings and responded to an average of 70 incidents per month arising from more than 10,000 daily alerts.” GSN reports that Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), the subcommittee chairman, expressed concern that DHS was not asking for sufficient funding for border security. “McCaul’s criticism of the administration’s budgeting for border security followed his introduction of a bill on April 10 called the Border Security Results Act of 2013 (H.R. 1417). The legislation would mandate the creation of comprehensive national strategy to secure U.S. borders and requires deployment of metrics to gauge the results of border security efforts,” said the GSN report.

► The multiple anti-piracy measures being carried out by an international cooperative effort have "brought about an impressive reduction of successful pirate attacks in the Horn of Africa region. In 2010, there were 119 attacks with 51 vessels hijacked and well over 1,000 mariners held hostage," The U.S. Coast Guard told a congressional committee. "Last year, there were 24 attacks, seven of which resulted in a vessel being hijacked. To date in 2013, there have been no successful attacks and currently there are only two vessels and fewer than 80 mariners being held hostage in Somalia," said U.S. Coast Guard Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy Rear Admiral Joseph Servidio. 

► Elsewhere in the news, Oklahoma's State House has approved four measures related to school security, reports the San Francisco Chronicle; one would create a school safety division within the state's homeland security office. And "Two days after a knife-wielding attacker wounded more than a dozen people on a Texas campus, a state House panel voted to allow concealed handgun license holders to carry weapons into college buildings and classrooms," according to an AP report in Seatle PI. 



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