Medical Records exposed in Health Sector Cyber Attacks
A Cyberattack on the Melbourne Heart Group, a specialist cardiology unit at Cabrini Hospital in Malvern, made news headlines on Thursday. The medical records of 15,000 patients were captured, encrypted and held to ransom by a Cybercrime syndicate demanding payment in cryptocurrency. In these situations, payment is rarely a good idea as this signals to criminals a willingness to pay, which likely will lead to demands for more money. A better approach to dealing with the effects of ransomware is to ensure any critical data is backed up and can be quickly restored, which reduces the value of the asset. As always, prevention is the best cure. Good security hygiene and educating employees about how to be safe in a digital environment will prevent most of these attacks, which are often initiated through e-mail phishing campaigns.
My Health Record Update
The official opt-out period for the Australian Government’s new My Health Record system ended 31st January 2019. As of today, one in 10 Australians, or 2.5 million people holding a Medicare card have decided to have their health records deleted. The Government claims this is in line with expectations, despite reports of a previous prediction of 1.1 million people opting-out. Australians can still have their digital record and access of online data cancelled should they choose too, and even opt back in, according to Tim Kelsey, Chief Executive at the Digital Health Agency. The above statistics clearly show us, that some Australians are concerned with the storage of their sensititive data.
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