US Health Agency Should Enact Plan to Bolster Electronic Data Security - Auditor

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) advised on Monday that the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) improves its data protection system.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The HHS needs to implement a five-point plan for protecting its vulnerable systems against cyber threats, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a report.

“GAO is making five recommendations, including that HHS update its guidance for protecting electronic health information to address key security elements [and] improve technical assistance it provides to covered entities,” the report stated.

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Covered entities are government agencies and private companies the HHS deals with regularly, such as state and local health departments and insurers.

The GAO also recommended that the HHS provide updated guidance on the security of its computer systems and revise its policies to ensure follow-up on efforts to remedy a cybersecurity breach.

In addition, the health agency should establish performance metrics for its Office of Civil Rights audit program and ensure that the office shares investigative findings with the HHS Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the report added.

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