House Energy And Commerce Committee Reviews Cybersecurity Practices At HHS

King & Spalding write:

On May 25, 2016, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing to examine the Department of Health and Human Services’ (“HHS”) cybersecurity responsibilities.  The hearing focused on legislation that would create a new office within HHS, the Office of the Chief Information Security Officer (“CISO”), consolidating information security within a single office at the agency.

The HHS Data Protection Act (H.R. 5068) was introduced by Representatives Billy Long (R-MO) and Doris Matsui (D-CA) on April 26.  The legislation would implement one of the key recommendations of an August 2015 report issued by the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.  The report was the result of a year-long investigation focused on an October 2013 breach at the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”), and was expanded to include information regarding security incidents at other HHS divisions. Among the findings in the report was that the current organizational structure was at least partially responsible for information security incidents throughout HHS.

Read more on JDSupra.

And speaking of HHS responsibilities, this blogger (still) can’t see where an HHS Office of Child Support Enforcement incident  reported months ago has been added to HHS’s public breach tool.  Was this reported for inclusion in the breach tool? If not, why not? Was it the case that HHS did a risk assessment and determined that it didn’t need to be reported? Even Congress appears to have had trouble getting some straight answers from HHS when they tried to investigate. One of their questions was why HHS didn’t notify Congress within the one week period required by FISMA and why it took two months for HHS to notify Congress. In response:

An HHS spokeswoman said Tuesday that the agency complied with legal reporting requirements and notified Congress within a week after it believed a major incident may have occurred.

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