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MITRE Launches Centers to Protect Critical Infrastructure and Public Health

MITRE has launched two new organizations which have been tasked with addressing critical healthcare challenges and improving cybersecurity to better protect critical infrastructure.

MITRE is a nonprofit organization that manages federally funded research and development centers to support government agencies in defense, healthcare, homeland security, cybersecurity, and other fields. MITRE Labs was established in 2020 as part of a restructuring of MITRE, with the new unit tasked with driving breakthroughs in applied science and advanced technology to transform the future of U.S. scientific and economic leadership.

Two new organizations have now been established within MITRE labs – The Cyber Infrastructure Protection Innovation Center and the Clinical Insights Innovation Cell.

The Cyber Infrastructure Protection Innovation Center was set up to bridge the technology gap between the public and private sector and ensure the operational technology, industrial control systems, and cyber-physical systems of critical infrastructure organizations are protected.

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Nation-state actors and cybercriminal gangs have been conducting attacks on critical infrastructure, as demonstrated by the recent cyberattacks on Colonial Pipeline, the meat processor JBS, and a water treatment plant in Florida. These cyberattacks can have a debilitating effect on national security, economic security, and the public health and safety of all Americans.

Critical infrastructure is mostly managed and maintained by private sector firms. The new Cyber Infrastructure Protection Innovation Center has been tasked with working across industry and government to better understand the cyber threats faced by the critical infrastructure sector and to identify practical steps that can be taken by operators of critical infrastructure to improve resilience to cyber threats.

The Clinical Insights Innovation Cell has been established to bring together leaders from the public and private sector to help address critical healthcare challenges and aims to deliver clinical and data science leadership, insight, and advanced artificial intelligence approaches.

The Clinical Insights Innovation Cell team includes data scientists, physicians, informaticists, and experts in the fields of digital health, clinical research trials, and artificial intelligence and has the goal of developing a new system of conducting clinical trials to make health systems more responsible and resilient.

“MITRE Labs has made significant progress to expand MITRE’s impact, inspire innovative disruption, accelerate risk-taking and discovery, and deliver technology capabilities,” said Charles Clancy, senior vice president and general manager of MITRE Labs. “These new groups will help us move faster, be bolder, and act as better partners for securing our nation’s critical infrastructure and leveraging clinical and genomic data to tackle the problems of infectious disease and the promise of precision medicine.”

Author: Steve Alder is the editor-in-chief of HIPAA Journal. Steve is responsible for editorial policy regarding the topics covered on HIPAA Journal. He is a specialist on healthcare industry legal and regulatory affairs, and has several years of experience writing about HIPAA and other related legal topics. Steve has developed a deep understanding of regulatory issues surrounding the use of information technology in the healthcare industry and has written hundreds of articles on HIPAA-related topics.