Australian cyber security data

How Your Medical Data Could Go Public

Swindlers have been around since the dawn of time. People who’d rather spend their time and effort working out how to relieve you of your money rather than how to earn their own.

But the advent of the internet gave rise to a whole new class of swindlers…hackers.

Today, hackers still use all the old tricks of the swindling trade. But they’ve added an ever evolving basket of new tricks on the back of rapid technological innovations. And it could see your most private information stolen and sold to the highest bidder.

Patient data held by Victoria’s public health services, for example, could be easily hacked in a system riddled with weaknesses, an audit has found.

The state’s public health system is highly vulnerable to cyber attacks but staff awareness of data security is low with issues around physical security, password management and other access controls, Auditor-General Andrew Greaves said in a report.

We exploited these weaknesses in all four audited agencies and accessed patient data to demonstrate the significant and present risk to the security of patient data and hospital services,’ the report released on Wednesday said.

In two of the agencies, auditors managed to gain access to areas storing critical technology infrastructure, such as servers. And the auditors managed to get into restricted administration and corporate offices of all the agencies.

There is a poor security culture within government departments and the state’s water providers lack a strategic approach to managing cybersecurity risks, according to two more reports tabled by the auditor-general.

The auditor-general’s office checked out the security of government buildings, focusing on the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Justice and Community Safety.

It found security infrastructure was adequate but its effectiveness was undermined by human error, enabled by a weak security culture.

This weak security culture among government staff is a significant and present risk that must be urgently addressed,’ one of separate reports said.

An examination of Victoria’s water providers found cybersecurity risks were also lacking in those divisions.

This exposes control systems to the risk of a successful cyber attack, particularly by a trusted insider or an intruder breaching physical security and gaining unauthorised access,’ another report read.

PS: That’s no steam engine coming for your job. Find out why your job could be at risk…no matter what you do for a living. And discover what you could do today to ensure your skills remain relevant tomorrow. Download your free report here.

The Australian Tribune with AAP

The Australian Tribune with AAP

The Australian Tribune with AAP

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