Firms to partner with new cyber center

Several private-sector executives signed an agreement last week to collaborate with the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence to manage cyber threats.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology said 11 major companies, including Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard, McAfee, Microsoft, Splunk and Symantec, have established formal partnerships with the center.

Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), Gen. Keith B. Alexander, who heads the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, and NIST Director Patrick Gallagher were among those who gathered at the cybersecurity center’s Rockville headquarters last week to celebrate the step. The companies agreed to contribute hardware and software and share best practices and staff with the center.

— Marjorie Censer

Health care
Industry struggles to recruit IT workers

Health-care providers across the United States are struggling to recruit information technology professionals, according to a survey released this month by human resources consulting firm Towers Watson. This could present a challenge for hospitals and other health centers as the industry makes greater use of electronic medical records and technology for managing care.

The survey found that 67 percent of health-care providers are finding it difficult to attract experienced IT workers; 38 percent said it was difficult to retain these workers.

Employees said job security, compensation, benefits and job location are the most important factors in deciding where to work. But besides job security, health-care employers didn’t identify any of these factors as being most critical in attracting IT talent. Instead, they said that offering challenging work was the best way to land new IT staffers.

— Sarah Halzack