Microsoft cybersecurity program to help Mississippi’s rural hospitals – WJTV

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – A new Microsoft cybersecurity program will help support Greenwood Leflore and Sharkey Issaquena Hospitals against cyberattacks.

This new Microsoft Cybersecurity Program for Rural Hospitals will deliver cybersecurity training, support, and technology services for these and other institutions. The healthcare sector reported more ransomware attacks than any other critical infrastructure sector and a 128% increase in ransomware attacks against the healthcare sector in 2023.

Monday’s announcement came from a collaboration with the hospitals, the American Hospital Association, the National Rural Health Association, the White House, Microsoft and Congressman Bennie Thompson’s (D-Miss.) office. According to Thompson, this development will benefit the Delta hospitals.

“We are now one step closer to ensuring that residents of Mississippi’s 2nd Congressional District receive the same high-quality care available throughout the rest of the state,” Thompson said.

Microsoft will offer free Windows 10 security updates to participating rural hospitals for at least one year and a free cybersecurity assessment and training to help evaluate day-to-day risks. For independent Critical Access Hospitals and Rural Emergency Hospitals, Microsoft will also provide nonprofit pricing and discounts on its security products, optimized for smaller organizations, with up to 75% savings.

Additionally, larger rural hospitals already using eligible Microsoft solutions will receive the company’s most advanced security suite at no cost for one year.

Key Britt, Greenwood Leflore Hospital VP of Administrative Services, explained that cyber security threats are a constant challenge for the hospital. As the methods of bad actors become more advanced, Britt believes that the Microsoft program is sorely needed.

“Our cyber security posture is further diminished by a lack of staffing. It has proven extremely difficult to hire staff with the appropriate technical skillset to help protect our technical environment,” Britt said.

Jerry Keever, CEO of Sharkey Issaquena Community Hospital, expressed similar gratitude for the program tailored to help rural hospitals.

“We need additional support to guard our systems and patient data. We are grateful for this new program, which will bring cybersecurity training and services to our hospital, and to Representative Thompson for his support,” Keever said.

Microsoft’s cybersecurity support program for rural hospitals in the United States is now available. To learn more, click here.

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