The Rural Hospital Cybersecurity Enhancement Act was introduced to the senate. The legislation means to address the need for skilled cybersecurity professionals and digital security enhancement protocols in rural healthcare settings.

This legislation follows a recent hearing that identified rural healthcare facilities as soft targets for cybercriminals. Unlike larger urban hospitals, rural hospitals often have little to no full-time cybersecurity personnel and are particularly exposed to cyberattacks.

This legislation would:

  • Require the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director to develop a comprehensive rural hospital cybersecurity workforce development strategy that, at a minimum, considers public-private partnerships, development of curricula and training resources and policy recommendations.
  • Require the CISA Director to create instructional materials for rural hospitals to train staff on fundamental cybersecurity measures.
  • Require the Secretary of Homeland Security to report annually with updates regarding the strategy and any programs that have been implemented pursuant to the strategy.