The Department of Health and Human Services' Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health May 20 announced the launch of a $50 million cybersecurity program that would create tools for information technology teams in health care to enhance cybersecurity measures. The Universal PatchinG and Remediation for Autonomous DEfense (UPGRADE) program will proactively evaluate potential vulnerabilities by probing for weaknesses in software. When it detects a threat, a patch could be automatically developed, tested and deployed with minimal interruption to hospital devices. 
 
"We applaud HHS’ recognition of the unique challenges and systemic nature of vulnerability management in health care," said John Riggi, AHA's national advisor for cybersecurity and risk. "The research which will be empowered through the ARPA-H funding will yield technical solutions which should be applied strategically to help secure the entire sector. It is clear, health care is a critical infrastructure sector, which must not be left to defend itself on its own through uncoordinated and uneven capabilities. Continuing ransomware attacks on the health care sector represent an urgent national security, public health and safety issue. The UPGRADE program is an innovative and welcomed 'whole of nation' approach, which will combine the expertise of the health care sector and government experts." 
 
For more information on this or other cyber and risk issues contact Riggi at jriggi@aha.org. For the latest cyber and risk information and resources visit www.aha.org/cybersecurity

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