ATLANTA – HME providers may not be the most savvy professionals when it comes to cyber security, but Medtrade East attendees can get a primer. An educational session called Cybersecurity Protection and Planning takes place Oct. 24 from 2:15-3:15 and it covers the basics, plus a little more.
The session is led by Jeff Woodham, vice president of Operations, Mandry Technology Solutions. Medtrade Monday sat down with Woodham to get a better idea about the session, as well as the current level of cyber security concern within the HME profession.
Medtrade Monday: Why should providers be concerned about cyber security?
Jeff Woodham, vice president of Operations, Mandry Technology: They may not be concerned today, but every healthcare entity is an elevated target for cyber criminals. The reason is that healthcare records and information are worth 10 to 40 times more than other types of information; even credit cards.
In addition, many insurance companies that are providing cyber insurance within their portfolio are requiring certain cyber risk management activities to be in place for the business to qualify for a claim or even continue coverage. It is not a matter of if, but when you will be subject to some type of cyber-attack that will negatively impact your business.
Medtrade Monday: Among HME providers, what’s the level of awareness about cyber security?
Woodham: Unfortunately, the level of awareness is sub-par and below other industries we observe. Most understand the HIPAA requirement for Privacy, but many don’t understand the elements for security. Many of the larger, regional providers have a grasp of the importance, but the majority are unaware of the critical nature cyber security should play in their business strategy.
Medtrade Monday: What are some of the topics you plan to cover at Medtrade East?
Woodham: I am going to cover what types of threats providers should understand and what these threats mean to their business. We will cover how to identify and plan for remediating those risks; and we will discuss what tools can help create a sustainable process to mitigate risks within the operation.
Medtrade Monday: How did you get involved with cyber security and the HME industry?
Woodham: I spent 18 years in the HME industry with MED Group starting out as the director of IT and progressing to senior/executive Leadership. In that Journey, I always was involved with IT which encompasses cyber security. After leaving MED, I was part of a software company that handled patient records and became deeply involved with cyber security.
Medtrade Monday: What is your current role?
Woodham: Today with Mandry Technology Solutions I lead a team that provides cyber risk management and cyber security solutions for hospitals, clinics, labs, and other ancillary / post-acute care entities. I hold a Health Care Information Security and Privacy Practitioner (HCISPP) certification from ISC2, an international cyber security credentialing organization.
Medtrade Monday: How many times have you spoken at Medtrade?
Woodham: I spoke at Medtrade a few times while with MED Group and spoke recently (2021) about cyber security. Raising awareness of the risks associated with poor cyber security posture is something we feel is important to businesses in the HME industry. Medtrade is a great opportunity to share insights around important aspects of cyber security and cyber risk management.
Medtrade Monday: Why is Medtrade still relevant and useful in 2022?
Woodham: Being face-to-face and having real-time dialogue is always a preferred medium of communication. The educational sessions can help bring a broad set of topics to the providers that can help them improve their business operations.