Rural Hospitals to Get Cybersecurity Perks from Microsoft and Google

Microsoft is offering grants, as well as big discounts on cybersecurity products for critical access hospitals and rural emergency hospitals, the White House said this week. In addition, Google will provide endpoint security advice at no cost and other benefits to rural hospitals and non-profit organizations.

The news came as part of an announcement of multiple efforts the Biden administration has undertaken to enhance healthcare cybersecurity. The initiatives were spurred by factors such as a 128% increase in cyberattacks against hospitals and the payment systems they use between 2022 and 2023.

In February and March, an attack against timely payment to healthcare providers impacted one out of every three health care claims in the United States. A White House fact sheet notes that most healthcare companies are privately owned and operated, so partnerships are necessary to strengthen the system. The thinking is that the government can help, but not alleviate the problem without buy-in by the sector.

Hospital Cybersecurity Benefits

Microsoft’s offerings to qualifying rural emergency and critical access hospitals include:

  • Grants and up to a 75% discount on security products that are optimized for small organizations.
  • Hospitals already in the program with its most advanced security suite at no additional cost for a year.
  • Free cybersecurity assessments and free training for frontline and IT staff.
  • Free security updates for Windows 10 for one year.

Google will provide:

  • Endpoint security advice to rural hospitals and non-profits.
  • Discounts for communications and collaboration tools and security support
  • A pool of funding supporting software migration
  • A pilot program for rural hospitals to develop a package of security capabilities fitting these hospitals’ needs.


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