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April 19, 2023Houston, TX, United StatesCyber Crimes, National Security

HSI Houston teams up with federal partners to host cybersecurity training for Texas Medical Center

HOUSTON — Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Houston, in partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) for the Southern District of Texas, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, and FBI Houston hosted cybersecurity training for leaders from the Texas Medical Center April 13 at the Methodist Hospital in Houston.

The training is part of a comprehensive initiative launched in 2021 to teach critical infrastructure stakeholders in the Houston area to identify and report malicious cyberactivity to law enforcement.

The Southern District of Texas is subject to hundreds of cyberattacks each week. Transnational criminal organizations and other bad actors target the area because it’s home to some of the largest critical infrastructure sectors in the world, including the Texas Medical Center — the world’s largest medical center.

“Cyberattacks on critical infrastructure, such as the Texas Medical Center, can endanger national security and public safety and disrupt life-sustaining public utilities that our communities depend on to survive,” said HSI Houston Special Agent in Charge Mark Dawson. “In conjunction with the U.S. attorney’s office and our other federal partners, HSI Houston has made it a priority to work closely with critical infrastructure stakeholders in the Houston area to strengthen their cyber security posture to prevent a potential disaster from taking place.”

“It is essential to national security and crucial to the safety of patients for federal law enforcement to work closely with the health care sector to develop resilient and adaptive defenses against malicious cyberspace activity and network intrusions,” said U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani. “The USAO will continue to seek opportunities to enhance collaboration with our law enforcement partners and the health care industry to prevent potential network intrusions and ensure greater unity of effort in response to cyber incidents.”

In attendance for the training were leaders from the University of Texas Health System, Memorial Herman Hospital, Texas Children’s Hospital, MD Anderson and the Baylor College of Medicine.

Critical infrastructure stakeholders or private businesses in the Houston area that believe they have been subject to a cyberintrusion or ransomware attack can report the matter by contacting the Southern District of Texas by email or by calling the 24-hour hotline at 713-542-5213.

For more news and information on HSI’s efforts to aggressively investigate cyber-crime in Southeast Texas, follow us on Twitter @HSIHouston.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.