Watchdog says HHS faces 'significant' challenges in trying to protect health data

A new report from the departmental Office of Inspector General said the HHS is facing "significant challenges" in protecting data and technology from cyberthreats and must improve how its entities share public health data, BankInfoSecurity reported Nov. 17. 

According to the report, HHS is making progress in how it collects, manages, shares and secures its data, but modernization is needed in order to to improve situational awareness and to better mitigate any public health threats and emergencies. 

The Inspector General recommended that HHS modernize its data and technology capabilities. 

"Some HHS programs rely on decades-old, legacy IT systems with limited data capabilities, which may exacerbate the effect of data silos," the report said. 

HHS is working on finalizing a data strategy that aims to address challenges related to data sharing, security and privacy. 

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