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Senators Introduce Legislation Strengthening US Health Care Cyber Resilience Amid Russian Threat

New cybersecurity bill

Senators Introduce Legislation Strengthening US Health Care Cyber Resilience Amid Russian Threat

Sens. Jacky Rosen and Bill Cassidy have introduced a new bill aimed at protecting the United States health care sector from the potential of Russian state-sponsored cyber attacks. The lawmakers noted that health centers save lives and hold a lot of sensitive, personal information, Nextgov reported Friday.

The bill’s introduction comes at the heels of a warning by the White House of a high risk of cyberattacks as Russia continues to wage war against Ukraine. If passed, the proposed law, titled the Healthcare Cybersecurity Act, will mitigate the foreseen threat by authorizing more cybersecurity education and training to health care industry leaders. 

In a March 21 statement, President Joe Biden reiterated earlier warnings based on evolving intelligence about the likelihood of cyberattacks instigated by the Russian government. He said Moscow is likely to step up its cyber offensive targeting the U.S. in retaliation for the “unprecedented economic costs imposed on Russia” following the Ukraine invasion.

The legislation would also require the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to issue a study on cybersecurity risks within the public health care sector, examining which assets are most at risk and if agencies are dealing with cybersecurity workforce shortages.

Rosen said that the U.S. must take proactive steps to enhance the cybersecurity of its health care and public health entities. She added that malicious cyber activity targeting critical infrastructure threatens to bring about negative patient outcomes and raise the cost of health care.

For his part, Cassidy called the health sector a “prime target” for Russia’s reprisal against U.S. economic sanctions. He added that the bill protects patient data and public health by strengthening the U.S. resilience to cyber warfare.

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Category: Cybersecurity