Safe & Sound with Marianne Kolbasuk McGee

Governance & Risk Management , Privacy

HIMSS16: Cybersecurity Gets the Spotlight

A Look at Educational Opportunities at This Year's Conference
HIMSS16: Cybersecurity Gets the Spotlight

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society 2016 Conference, slated for Feb. 29 to March 4 in Las Vegas, will offer dozens of privacy and security educational opportunities worth checking out.

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Kicking off the event is an all-day symposium - "Cybersecurity: Time to Improve Your Posture" - on Feb. 29. Among the important topics to be addressed are cybersecurity and the law, biomedical device security and winning C-level support for a security plan.

"This year's massive HIMSS convention, which is expected to attract 43,000 attendees to the Sands Expo Convention Center, will feature a Cybersecurity Command Center in the exhibit hall." 

Featured speakers at the symposium include, among others: CISO Paul Connelly of Hospital Corporation of America; privacy attorney Adam Greene of the law firm Davis Wright Tremaine; and medical device cybersecurity expert Stephen Grimes, principle consultant at Strategic Healthcare Technology Associates LLC.

Other Activities

This year's massive HIMSS convention, which is expected to attract 43,000 attendees to the Sands Expo Convention Center, will feature a Cybersecurity Command Center in the exhibit hall. The center, which debuted at last year's event, will include vendor exhibits as well as 28 educational sessions hitting such topics as securing PHI on endpoints against cyberattacks and hunting for hackers

Throughout the week, HIMSS will offer about 20 formal educational sessions on specific privacy and security topics. Speakers at those sessions will range from security and privacy officials from the government to CISOs and other infosec leaders from the private sector. Among the most intriguing offererings that merit your attention:

  • Lucia Savage, chief privacy officer at the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, will speak about "Privacy and Security in an App Enabled World," on March 1 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Palazzo B.
  • Dave Summit, CISO at Moffitt Cancer Center, will speak on "Escalated Threats to PHI Require a New Approach to Privacy and Security" on March 2 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Galileo 1001.
  • Chuck Kesler, CISO at Duke Medicine, and Mac McMillan, founder of the consulting firm CynergisTek, will be presenting on "Best Practices for Protecting Against Cyber Attacks" on March 3 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Rock of Ages Theater.

Top-Level Presenters

Other high-level presentations will likely touch upon the topic of cybersecurity.

For example, at "A Special Session with ONC and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services," I expect ONC leader Karen DeSalvo, M.D., and CMS acting administrator Andy Slavitt will discuss such issues as electronic health record interoperability and secure health data exchange. That session will take place on March 1, from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Rock of Ages Theater, but it will also be rebroadcast several times during the week.

Also worth checking out are the back-to-back opening keynote presentations slated for March 1 from 5 to 7 p.m. featuring Sylvia Mathews Burwell, secretary of HHS, and Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell Inc.

As for me, as usual, I'll be posting audio interviews, blogs and stories offering the latest updates from HIMSS, so be sure to check our news from HIMSS page. I hope to see you in Las Vegas.

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About the Author

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee

Executive Editor, HealthcareInfoSecurity, ISMG

McGee is executive editor of Information Security Media Group's media site. She has about 30 years of IT journalism experience, with a focus on healthcare information technology issues for more than 15 years. Before joining ISMG in 2012, she was a reporter at InformationWeek magazine and news site and played a lead role in the launch of InformationWeek's healthcare IT media site.

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