Frequently Asked Questions

What’s an ISAO?

Under Presidential Executive Order 13691, Information Sharing and Analysis Organizations (ISAOs) are to:

  • Voluntarily disseminate critical cyber and related information
  • Communicate critical cyber and related information to help prevent, detect, mitigate or recover from the effects of a cyber systems’ interference, compromise or incapacitation
  • Analyze cyber-related information to ensure critical digital systems’ availability, integrity and reliability

If my organization shares information with an ISAO will it be penalized?

Executive Order 13691 is designed to PROTECT its participants (individuals and healthcare organizations) against being penalized as they share information regarding cyber-related breaches, interference, compromise or incapacitation. Executive Order 13691 allows the Population Health ISAO to:

  • Protect the privacy and civil liberties of individuals
  • Preserve business confidentiality
  • Safeguard the information being shared

What is the Secure Together program?

Secure Together is the flagship program provided by the Population Health ISAO in partnership with Smart Hive. Secure Together leverages the Smart Hive technological platform to allow health organizations to learn from each other in real-time.

What is the Smart Hive platform?

Smart Hive is a real-time threat intelligence platform. If there is an attack on any single clinic in the Secure Together program, the defense needed to protect against that attack will be implemented at all participating clinics within minutes without any human intervention.

How does Smart Hive work?

Smart Hive deploys a Virtual Machine called the Echo Station. For participating healthcare organizations, the Echo Station scans the organizations’ firewall logs and sends all blocked events to a central point in the cloud called the Secure Together HIVE.

In the HIVE, the events are enriched and correlated with events from other participating organizations. Based on analysis, the HIVE makes a decision to tell organizations what defenses need to be engaged.

Can Smart Hive apply defenses for participating organizations?

Participants have an option to either be notified of a threat intel or have Smart Hive apply the defense.

Is Smart Hive Secure?

All data in transit and at rest is encrypted. All encryption keys are stored in the vault.

Do I need to hire additional staff to use Smart Hive?

Many organizations, particularly small- to mid-sized organizations, lack experienced security people on their team. Secure Together was created to address this shortage. It uses Smart Hive to help reduce the security operations burden as Smart Hive learns and applies security defense automatically 24/7.

Who does the Population Health ISAO help?

The Population Health ISAO is the cyber intelligence community for healthcare providers working together to meet regulatory requirements, reduce cyber risk and identify cyber threats in the healthcare environment.

The Population Health ISAO prioritizes the cyberreadiness needs of small to mid-sized safety net facilities and health systems (e.g., Community Health Centers, behavioral health centers, rural or community hospitals) as these facility types increasingly are sharing data with larger entities and one another.

One of Population Health ISAO’s missions is to assist the healthcare organizations that have not “crossed the cybersecurity digital divide.” The Population Health ISAO ensures that Medicaid facility needs are addressed as many Medicaid facilities are lacking the resources, training, and protected information systems to deal with vulnerabilities and threats.

How does Secure Together help with peer comparison or threat intelligence without sharing organization names?

With Secure Together, you will never see the name of the source of intel on your dashboard and other participants will not see your organization’s identifiable information. Although Smart Hive enables sharing threat intelligence in real-time, it never reveals the source of intel. When an organization receives any intel, it only shows what industry it came from and if it was one of your peers.

Through Secure Together, can an organization do a peer comparison?

Traditionally, peer analysis is hard to quantify, as executive teams must depend on questionnaires, old data and self-reporting. With Secure Together, organizations don’t need to depend on these inaccurate tools any longer. Organizations can use REAL threat intelligence data from Smart Hive to understand where they stack up against their peers. Organizations participating in Secure Together can view all threats against them as well as compare how they are doing against their participating peers on a close to real-time dashboard. Reports can be provided for organizations to share with their Executive teams, Board of Directors, IT Departments and others of the organizations’ choosing.

How will the Secure Together Program be funded?

The Population Health ISAO is working closely with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), and states to access funding for Medicaid facilities. For states that do not accept supplementary Medicaid funding from the federal government, the Population Health ISAO ensures that the fee for Secure Together is affordable for healthcare organizations of any size.

Join the Population Health ISAO and benefit from Secure Together

Contact the Population Health ISAO Executive Director Kendra Siler, PhD at Kendra.Siler@ISAONetwork.org.