This Week Health
January 27, 2024

Launching the 229 Security & Risk Community

Drex DeFord 229 Project Press Release

Drex DeFord Joins The 229 Project and This Week Health

Launching the 229 Security & Risk Community

In my three decades of healthcare leadership, I've seen the cybersecurity landscape evolve dramatically. Throughout, my personal mission has been the delivery of better, faster, cheaper, safer, and easier-to-access care for patients and families. It's a path that's brought me a lot of joy and many lessons along the way. Cybersecurity has a direct impact on these goals, and that’s why I am excited to announce the creation of the 229 Security & Risk Community. This initiative is not just a professional milestone for me; it's a critical response to the evolving challenges in healthcare cybersecurity.

"Cyber Safety is Patient Safety," a mantra from the Health Sector Coordinating Council’s Cybersecurity Working Group, captures the essence of our mission. However, it also transcends patient care, touching every facet of healthcare - from business operations and staff safety/satisfaction, to community well-being, to the protection of research and intellectual property. Healthcare's role as a critical infrastructure, accounting for nearly a fifth of the U.S. economy, underscores the gravity of our mission. This is why I am deeply committed to fostering a community where healthcare leaders can come together to enhance our collective cyber defenses.

The philosophy of collective defense, as articulated by Chris Inglis, former National Cyber Director,  definitely hits home for me: "You have to beat all of us to beat one of us." It emphasizes the power of unity in cybersecurity, the power of “we.” It’s aspirational. This principle is the bedrock of the 229 Security & Risk Community. By fostering a culture of collaboration and peer-to-peer relationships, we can build a formidable defense against the cyber threats that loom over healthcare.

What is the 229 Security & Risk Community?

My vision for the 229 Security & Risk Community is to establish a dynamic, evolving platform. A continuous-improvement platform that not only responds to current threats but also anticipates future challenges. It's about creating a network where leaders can connect with each other, grow their trusted relationships, and share, sharing best practices, experiences, and resources. TheThis community is designed to be more than a discussion forum; it's a crowd-sourced hub for transformative action, and deeper connections..

In this community, healthcare leaders from various backgrounds – from small clinics to large hospital systems, from IT professionals to top executives, from government leaders, to product and service partners – will come together to share insights, experiences, and strategies. This diversity of perspectives is crucial for a holistic understanding of the cybersecurity challenges we face. It ensures that our approaches are grounded in reality and are effective. Learning from and connecting with peers allows cybersecurity leaders to share best practices and cultivate long standing relationships. , so we have deeply-experienced colleagues – friends we know and trust – people to call when the inevitable happens.

The 229 Security and Risk Platform

Primarily, I hope to connect with this amazing community through specific 229 Roundtable Project events: Small format, bespoke retreats, bringing people like you, from organizations like yours, with similar challenges together, In fact, our first Cybersecurity Roundtable of 2024 is February 8-10 and we have more planned for the rest of the year.

We’re also Additionally, we are working on a regular podcast – “UnHacking Healthcare” – and other ways to build community through content, story-telling, and focused local events coming to a city near you soon. and storytelling.

And while we take the work very seriously, I think it’s ok if we don’t take ourselves so seriously. I also want to make sure some fun is baked into the community. You’ll see it during the 229 events we’ve created a relaxed, open atmosphere is key to fostering meaningful engagement and innovation. I believe that the best ideas and solutions often emerge in less formal settings where people feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and experiences. That’s what the 229 Cybersecurity Roundtables are all about: This approach is designed to encourage open dialogues, genuine connections, and creative problem-solving. And fun. Don’t forget the fun.

So, I Need Your Help Extending Our Impact Beyond the Healthcare Community and Beyond

Collaboration has always been a critical success factor for anything I’ve ever done. All of us are smarter than any one of us. So, I’ll need your help.

Please say YES if I ask you to be a guest on the podcast. And I’d love to talk to you more about the 229 events we have planned and how you and your teams can be involved. Oh, and please subscribe to the channel (and follow me on LinkedIn) for regular updates – you are the biggest part of this!

Ready. Set. Let’s GO!

Check out our launch page, and let's get connected.

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