Securing Health IT Value

Richard Staynings kicks off the VA HIMSS Annual Conference.
Richard Staynings kicks off the VA HIMSS Annual Conference.  Photo: David Stewart.
One of the fundamental conditions to deliver health IT value is security. Without it Health IT Systems cannot protect confidential data, validate the integrity of medical records, or ensure that clinicians can access IT systems in order to treat patients.

The recent WannaCry attack that took out part of the British NHS, and other ransomware attacks that have crippled hospitals all over the U.S. should be a wake-up call for healthcare leaders. Without security, health IT can be a liability rather than an asset. Furthermore, cybersecurity and patient safety are now inextricably joined at the hip.

Richard Staynings. Working the audience.
Richard Staynings works the audience. Photo: David Stewart.
Emerging and new technologies will help drive the efficiency and security of Health IT, but their adoption or readiness for widespread production use, may be 3 to 5 years away. New technologies require planning and forethought, and not all of them will be suitable for everyone. Given the pace of change and the inability of many healthcare payers and providers to attract and retain top cybersecurity talent, alternative approaches to the consumption of these new capabilities may be necessary.

Rather than hire, build and integrate, it may be faster and more cost effective to procure capabilities as a service. This is particularly so in security where fierce competition to attract and retain cyber resources places the healthcare industry at a disadvantage compared to other better paying employers.

Richard Staynings keynotes the VA HIMSS Annual Conference.
Keynoting VA HIMSS 17. Photo: David Stewart.
This was the theme of my keynote presentation today at the Virginia HIMSS Conference at the Kingsmill Resort in in Williamsburg, VA. attended by just under 400 of the Commonwealth’s healthcare technology leaders and those that help to keep them being successful.

Richard Staynings. Machines already outnumber Humans.
Machines already outnumber Humans. Photo: David Stewart.
My keynote was followed up later in the day with a second High Impact Ted style talk on the changing face of security and IoT in a healthcare environment. I think I had everyone's undivided attention!

My special thanks for the VA HIMSS Executive Team for making me feel so welcome and for an extremely well planned and organized event. And what an idyllic location for a day of charity golfing followed by two days of educational conference! I'll have to remember this place. Your hospitality was inspiring as were all of the speakers who presented.

Richard Staynings, Cisco
Richard Staynings, Cisco. Photo: Leigh Thomas Williams.
As promised, here are links to my decks. Feel free to leverage for your own graphically assisted conversations with your boards of directors / regents, and your executive leadership team.
Anyone needing CPE credits here's your link

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