Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Sen. Angus King (I-ME), Co-Chairs of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission (CSC), are urging the Biden administration to better protect the public health sector (HPH) from cyberthreats. In a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Becerra, King and Gallagher highlight the rapidly-increasing number of cyberattacks targeting healthcare, call for stronger collaborative action to address the growing threat, and request an urgent briefing from the administration on their current posture.
In part the lawmakers wrote, “The COVID-19 pandemic revealed systemic challenges facing the healthcare and public health (HPH) sector… For those of us working on issues of national cyber resilience, COVID-19 was accompanied by another epidemic – that of ransomware. Ransomware attacks on the HPH sector have skyrocketed in the past two years as opportunistic criminals recognized that hospitals may pay quickly to resolve issues and protect patient safety…Thus, we are requesting a briefing from your office on the status of efforts to strengthen the department’s capabilities as the Sector Risk Management Agency and to operationalize collaboration with the organizations throughout the sector.”