White House unveils plan to support rural hospital cybersecurity

June 10, 2024
By Robert Kerwin

In an effort to strengthen cybersecurity protections for rural hospitals, the Biden administration announced today that Microsoft is extending its nonprofit program to provide grants and up to a 75% discount on security products optimized for smaller organizations.

For participating larger rural hospitals already using eligible Microsoft solutions, the administration said that Microsoft will provide its “most advanced security suite at no additional cost for one year.” Cybersecurity assessments by qualified technology security providers and free training for frontline and IT staff at eligible rural hospitals throughout the country.

In its own statement, Microsoft announced that it will extend security updates for Windows 10 to participating hospitals at no cost.

Mike Powers, director of Clinical Engineering at Intermountain Health Care applauded the announcement. “I now consider healthcare cybersecurity as patient safety. Any help for under-resourced hospitals is wonderful news."

It was also announced that Google will provide endpoint security advice to rural hospitals and nonprofit organizations at no cost and a pool of funding to support software migration.

Diana Upton, President of IAMERS joined in support. “So many of our members service rural and regional hospitals," she said. "I know they and their hospital clients will welcome this development.”

About the author: Robert J. Kerwin is the general counsel for IAMERS, the International Association of Medical Equipment Remarketers and Servicers.

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