The Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently announced the creation of a cybersecurity team focused on combating threats within the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), and within the health care industry. The team includes auditors, evaluators, investigators, and attorneys with experience in cybersecurity matters, and its work is intended to build on the cybersecurity priorities the OIG has previously identified in its annual assessments and reports.

The cybersecurity team consists of the following units:

  • Office of Audit Services, Cybersecurity and Information Technology Audit Division;
  • Office of Evaluation and Inspections;
  • Office of Investigations, Computer Crimes Unit; and
  • Office of Counsel.

As the names of the offices within the OIG cybersecurity team indicate, the team will monitor risks and vulnerabilities to HHS programs, beneficiaries and contractors, as well as criminal activities such as violations of the federal Computer Fraud & Abuse Act. The team will also make recommendations to HHS on cybersecurity improvements.

More information on the OIG cybersecurity team – including previous OIG reports concerning cybersecurity threats – is available online.

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Conor Duffy is a member of Robinson+Cole’s Health Law Group and the firm’s Data Privacy and Security Team. Conor advises hospitals, physician groups, community providers, and other health care entities on general corporate matters and health care issues. He provides legal counsel on a full range of transactional and regulatory health law issues, including contracting, licensure, mergers and acquisitions, Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse laws and regulations, HIPAA compliance, and other data privacy and security matters. Read his rc.com bio here.