5 things to know about HHS' stalled cybersecurity center

The Healthcare Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, an initiative HHS first announced in mid-2017, has been stalled since at least November, according to the Politico Morning eHealth newsletter.

Here are five things to know about the cybersecurity center.

1. In April 2017, Chris Wlaschin, chief information security officer at HHS, indicated the agency would open the Health Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center at initial operating capability in June 2017. He said the collaborative information analysis center was based off the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center.

2. The announcement was met with mixed reactions healthcare industry officials. Daniel Nutkis, founder and CEO of the Health Information Trust Alliance, told a Senate committee in June 2017 the roles outlined in the cybersecurity center too closely paralleled those of existing information sharing and analysis organizations.

3. In November, Politico reported the Healthcare Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center initiative had stalled amid policy and personnel conflicts. Legislators and industry representatives questioned whether organizations would be able to submit threat information to the center with liability protections.

4. The cybersecurity center also faced personnel issues. Anonymous sources accused two top executives — Leo Scanlon and Maggie Amato — of ethics issues, with one allegation claiming the center directed a no-bid contract to a startup with personal connections to Ms. Amato, according to Politico. The issue has not been resolved. Both Mr. Scanlon and Ms. Amato have denied any wrongdoing.

5. The Healthcare Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center's vision may undergo additional changes, as Mr. Wlaschin plans to resign at the end of March. His resignation is unrelated to the cybersecurity center's challenges, according to Politico.

More articles on cybersecurity:
Top 5 items threat actors seek in healthcare breaches
Survey: Scam artists, negligent insiders credited with most recent security incidents in hospitals
How are healthcare organizations addressing information security? 4 survey findings

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