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Industry Showcase - AWS Presents Cybersecurity Awareness Month - The Critical Connection to Digital Health Innovation

  • October 14, 2021
  • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
  • Zoom webinar

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Amazon Web Services presents Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Cybersecurity Transformation: The Critical Connection to Digital Health Innovation

October 14th 12:00 – 1:00pm EST (9am PST, 10am MST, 11am CST)


The past year has been a nearly perfect storm for cyber criminals, costing the healthcare industry more than $20 billion in downtime, with nearly 18 million patient records breached. All of it happening in the midst of a relentless demand to transform healthcare through the implementation of digital health strategies, products, and services.

How can we ask patients and healthcare organizations to trust digital health efforts in the middle of the seemingly endless stream of ransomware and other cyber threats? Our panelists have worked with and for healthcare customers to conquer some of the most difficult challenges in enterprise cybersecurity. They will examine some of the biggest challenges, complex problem-solving processes, and transformative cybersecurity solutions of our day. Our goal is to leverage their experience to assist healthcare executives seeking to create a solid foundation for their organizations digital, clinical and business initiatives.

Robert Martin is the Chief Information Security Officer at Alberta Health Services. Robert’s portfolio includes governance, risk and compliance, policy development, security technology architecture and oversight, disaster recovery, IT risk management, and service management. In addition, his team is responsible for deploying a security awareness program to 100,000 staff, physicians, and volunteers across Alberta. In addition, Robert co-chairs the AHS Enterprise Risk Management Executive Committee and developed the risk framework for AHS’s clinical information systems. AHS is Canada’s largest healthcare delivery organization, responsible for providing health services to the over four million people living in Alberta. The combined workforce of staff, physicians and volunteers make it one of the biggest, most complex and most dynamic organizations in the country.

Drex DeFord has broad experience as a senior healthcare executive, including as 20-year US Air Force officer, culminating as Chief Technology Officer for Air Force Health’s World-Wide Operations. After retiring from the military, he served as CIO at Scripps Health in San Diego, Seattle Children’s, and Steward Healthcare.  He’s Past-Chair of CHIME’s Board of Trustees, and has served on the HIMSS National Board. Over the past several years -- as an independent consultant (and “Recovering-CIO”) -- he helped lead trusted health systems, payers, associations, vendors, and investors through their work on healthcare's toughest problems. In March 2021, he joined CrowdStrike as Executive Healthcare Strategist. He’s passionate about the mission to stop breaches, and better secure clinical, research, and healthcare business operations.

Merritt Baer (Twitter: @MerrittBaer) is a Principal in the Office of the CISO at Amazon Web Services. Merritt provides technical cloud security guidance to complex, regulated organizations like the Fortune 100, and advises the leadership of AWS’ largest customers on security as a bottom line proposition. She also helps build strategic initiatives for how AWS secures itself, running on AWS.

Merritt  has experience in all three branches of government and the private sector. Before Amazon, Merritt served as Lead Cyber Advisor to the Federal Communications Commission. She has also served at the US Department of Homeland Security, the Office of US Senator Michael Bennet, and the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. Before joining the government, Merritt started a business advisory / legal practice, working with emerging tech companies.

Merritt speaks regularly on infosec, including cloud computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning, quantum computing, and the future of the Internet. Her insights on business strategy and tech have been published in Forbes, The Baltimore Sun, The Daily Beast, LawFare, Talking Points Memo, and ThinkProgress. Her academic work has appeared in the journals of Temple, Georgetown, Santa Clara, UPenn, and UVA. 

Merritt is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Harvard College. She is admitted to the Bars of New York, the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and the United States Supreme Court. Based in Miami, FL, she has been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a National Security Fellow at the Center for New American Security, and a Cyber Fellow at the East-West Institute. She is founder of women’s tech expert network Tech & Roses; Adjunct Professor of Cybersecurity at the University of Maryland and Penn State Law School; a mother, and an amateur boxer.

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