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The healthcare sector faces increasing pressure from cyberattacks targeting hospitals and other medical facilities as it deals with old equipment and systems that were not designed with cybersecurity in mind, a document warns. guidance from the office of Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.

Citing contributions from healthcare and cybersecurity experts, the paper outlines the cyber threats facing healthcare providers and offers several policy solutions to improve the situation for the sector. Such considerations are timely as cyberattacks against the industry have increased over the past decade, reaching record levels in 2021.

The document, titled “Cybersecurity is Patient Safety,” argues that improving the sector’s cybersecurity requires public and private sector collaboration and calls for federal leadership, building cyber capacity among healthcare providers, and creating a robust response system to effectively recover from attacks.

“Unfortunately, the health care industry is particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks, and the transition to better cybersecurity has been painfully slow and inadequate,” said Warner, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. “The federal government and the health sector must find a balanced approach to addressing serious threats, as partners with shared responsibilities.

The document lists key challenges facing Congress and federal agencies with jurisdiction over health care providers.