University of Texas First Ever to Offer Cybersecurity Certification in Healthcare

  • The course will be built around multiple thematic modules including "Processes to Ensure Organizational Safety and Security" and "Policies and Governance in Healthcare Entities."
  • The eight-week program graduated a pilot class of 16 participants in August 2019, and it plans its first official batch in spring 2020.

The healthcare industry takes the lion’s share of ransomware attacks and the reasons are: the value of healthcare data; little attention on tech upgrades; and the rising complexity of healthcare ops. Nonetheless, the cybersecurity industry talent crisis isn’t new to us.

The Course and Its Stakeholders

The USA's first professional cybersecurity certificate program ‘Leadership in Healthcare Privacy and Security Risk Management’ was launched by the McCombs School of Business, University of Texas (Austin).

  • The program is created to protect healthcare providers from cyber-attacks, as well as bridge over 1.8 million skill-gap in the global information security workforce.
  • The one-of-its-kind certification course is the result of a collaborative effort between the school and the cybersecurity industry, healthcare organizations, and governmental agencies.
  • It is endorsed by the Texas Hospital Association, Clearwater (a cyber risk management and compliance solution provider), 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.

The Learning Experience

A pilot program of the course, that went on for eight weeks, witnessed 16 participants in the age range of early 20s to their late 50s, from various region and backgrounds. Students could attend class in person or participating remotely via a live distance-learning video connection.

  • As per reports, cross-sector experts in healthcare security and experienced healthcare tech educators are being brought in to teach the course
  • Students will learn via practical, case-based simulations and hands-on exposure to current and future healthcare cybersecurity technologies
  • The next batch for the course, which is also extended over eight weeks, will start on July 2020.
  • The course is planned to be built around multiple thematic modules. The modules confirmed, for now, are "Processes to Ensure Organizational Safety and Security" and "Policies and Governance in Healthcare Entities."

Using feedback from members of the privacy and cybersecurity industries, the program will be molded to keep up with the ever-evolving cybersecurity threat landscape.

Founder and executive chairman of Clearwater, Bob Chaput, described the new certification as a much-needed program and 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."

With nearly 500 U.S healthcare organizations been targeted by different ransomware attacks since the start of the year, a healthcare-inclined training program is imperative.