HAP's Latest News

3 Priorities to Improve U.S. Cybersecurity

February 12, 2024

America is facing stronger cybersecurity threats than ever before.

Today, the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative (JCDC) released its 2024 priorities, which aim to raise the baseline of our cyber preparedness while protecting institutions against bad actors.

The public-private collaborative’s latest plan comes as the health care community faces new threats from ransomware groups and other state-sponsored agencies look to disrupt critical infrastructure.

“These priorities will further expand the breadth and depth of our partnership to tackle more challenging, forward-leaning cyber risks that could evolve in the future, not just the immediate risks,” Clayton Romans, associate director, for the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative, said in a statement.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Three focus areas:  The collaborative seeks to defend against malicious cyber actors; raise the baseline of our cyber defense; and anticipate and prepare for new technologies.
  • Growing challenge:  The new wave of international cyberattacks requires a focus that goes beyond espionage and data theft to “protect our country and allies against destructive attacks designed to cause real-world harm.”
  • Improving the baseline:  A stronger foundation for cybersecurity begins with systems that are “secure by design” and more support to protect health care and other critical infrastructure from attacks.
    • “Too many successful intrusions are preventable, the result of inadequate investment in basic practices,” JCDC notes.
    • The collaborative also prioritizes measurable progress against ransomware and bolstering the security of state and local election networks.
  • Technology paradox:  The U.S. must get ahead of artificial intelligence and other new technologies that could expose vulnerabilities within our systems, JCDC said today.
    • New systems can help close off avenues of attack, but they also offer pathways to cause harm.
  • Quotable:  “Even as we urgently work to help organizations implement the most effective cybersecurity measures, we know that scalable change requires a fundamental shift in how technology is designed, built, and maintained,” Romans said.

The collaborative is a public-private cyber defense partnership within the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. The group’s 2024 priorities are available to review online.

HAP will continue to monitor health care cybersecurity trends and provide updates to members. For questions, contact Jason Tomashunas, MS, CHEP, manager, emergency management.