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US University Offers First Ever Healthcare-Specific Cybersecurity Certification

US University Offers First Ever Healthcare-Specific Cybersecurity Certification

The McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin has launched America's first professional cybersecurity certificate program specifically geared toward protecting healthcare providers from cyber-attacks. 

The Leadership in Healthcare Privacy and Security Risk Management program has been launched by the school in a bid to help close the 1.8 million person gap that the 2017 Global Information Security Workforce Study predicted will hit the global cybersecurity workforce in 2022.

This unique certification course sprang forth from a collaboration between the school and the cybersecurity industry, healthcare organizations, and governmental agencies. It is endorsed by the Texas Hospital Association, cyber risk management and compliance solution provider Clearwater, and CynergisTek, Inc., a cybersecurity consulting firm dedicated to serving the information assurance needs of the healthcare industry.

"This unique leadership program will rapidly equip individuals with the knowledge, leadership skills, and problem-solving competencies needed to manage risk in healthcare environments," said a statement from the McCombs School of Business. 

Cross-sector experts in healthcare privacy and security and experienced healthcare technology educators are being brought in to teach the course, which will run for eight weeks starting in July 2020. Students will learn via practical, case-based simulations and hands-on exposure to current and future healthcare cybersecurity technologies.

The course, which has been developed to meet the needs of healthcare organizations, vendors, and governmental agencies, will be built around multiple thematic modules. Modules confirmed so far include "Processes to Ensure Organizational Safety and Security" and "Policies and Governance in Healthcare Entities."

To ensure that the curriculum keeps up with the ever-evolving cybersecurity threat landscape, the program will be shaped by ongoing feedback from members of the privacy and cybersecurity industries, and in the future by program graduates as well. 

With nearly 500 US healthcare organizations having been targeted by ransomware attacks since the start of the year, the need for a training program geared toward their protection is unequivocal.

Founder and executive chairman of Clearwater, Bob Chaput, who described the new certification as a "much-needed program," said: "While there’s a massive shortage of traditional technical cybersecurity talent in all industries, healthcare has been specifically challenged as one of our nation’s last industries to undergo significant digital transformation."

Source: Information Security Magazine