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My Health Record had 42 data breaches in 2017-18 but no ‘malicious’ attacks: ADHA

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(Image: ADHA)

Australia’s troubled My Health Record recorded 42 data breaches between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018, the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) has said in its 2017-18 annual report [PDF].

Three of the breaches were reported to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) and involved one breach of unauthorised access due to an incorrect Parental Authorised Representative being assigned to a child, and two breaches due to suspected Medicare fraud that resulted in the potential fraudster seeing records without authority.

ADHA also said 17 breaches were found from the Department of Human Services identifying intertwined records where two or more people have been using the same Medicare record, and 22 breaches from attempted Medicare fraud where unauthorised claims appeared incorrectly in the My Health Record of affected users.

“There have been no purposeful or malicious attacks compromising the integrity or security of the My Health Record system,” ADHA said.

The Department of Human Services had corrected the records in all instances, ADHA said.

The My Health Record operator said as of July 27, 2018, almost one quarter of Australians had a record.

“In 2017–18 the Agency, as System Operator, registered 935,206 people for a My Health Record,” it said. “There were a total of 42,877 cancelled registrations during the year.”

ADHA said 221,580,930 documents were uploaded to the system in 2017-18, and 798,000 people accessed their records through its portal in that time frame.

As of June, ADHA reported connecting 178 of the country’s 208 private hospitals to My Health Record, and 815 of Australia’s 1,108 public hospitals to the system.

Australians have until January 31 to opt-out of the national health record system or they will have a record created for them if they do not already have one.

By October 19, 1.147 million had removed themselves from the system, but ADHA said it was happy with the result.

In the wake of the annual report, Labor has reiterated its call for OAIC to review the system, and hit out at the AU$20 million deficit that ADHA reported.

“After spending 2018 focused on tearing down his own Prime Minister, Minister Hunt must now focus on delivering a My Health Record that is secure and on budget,” Shadow Health Minister Catherine King said in a statement.

ADHA said in its annual report that it had created a privacy team to “embed privacy within the functions and culture of the agency”.

“Maintaining community trust in the privacy and security of the My Health Record system is imperative to the success of the program,” ADHA wrote. “The privacy team takes a proactive, privacy by design approach to managing the development and operation of the My Health Record system.”

It was reported in November that its director of privacy had resigned over privacy concerns.

The same month, the government announced it would increase the maximum penalties for improper use of My Health Record data.

Under the changes, the maximum jail term will increase from two to five years, the maximum fine for individuals will jump from AU$126,000 to AU$315,000, and private health insurers will not be able to access health or de-identified data.

Employers will also not be able to use health information or de-identified data to discriminate against employees or potential employees.

“Importantly, employers or insurers cannot simply avoid the prohibition by asking the individuals to share their My Health Record information with them,” Health Minister Greg Hunt said at the time.

Parents who have restricted access to a child, or are a potential risk to a child or person associated with the child, will not be allowed to become an authorised representative.

Related Coverage

Rushed My Health Record changes still missing the point

The Australian government seems obsessed with pushing everyone into its centralised digital health records system before they’ve even finished working out the rules. Why is that?

My Health Record data misuse penalties raised

Employers have been barred from using health data to discriminate against current or potential employees.

My Health Record opt-out officially extended to January 31

The House of Representatives has agreed that delete now means delete.

My Health Record privacy amendments ‘woefully inadequate’: Labor

An Australian senate committee has recommended passing the My Health Records Amendment (Strengthening Privacy) Bill 2018, but Labor senators have lashed out at the government’s “stubborn refusal” to fix further problems.

My Health Record justifications ‘kind of lame’: Godwin

Australia has spent billions of dollars for ‘nothing really useful’, according to leading internet policy commentator Mike Godwin, and the proposed anti-encryption laws are ‘inhumane, wrong, anti-democratic’.

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Work from Home Security

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Spin Master is a leading global children’s entertainment company that invents toys and games, produces dozens of television and studio series that are distributed in 160 countries, and creates a variety of digital games played by more than 30 million children. What was once a small private company founded by childhood friends is now a public global supply chain with over 1,500 employees and 28 offices around the world.

Like most organizations in 2020, Spin Master had to adapt quickly to the new normal of remote work, shifting most of its production from cubicles in regional and head offices to hundreds of employees working from home and other remote locations.

This dramatic shift created potential security risks, as most employees were no longer behind the firewall on the corporate network. Without the implementation of hardened endpoint security, the door would be open for bad actors to infiltrate the organization, acquire intellectual property, and ransom customer information. Additionally, the potential downtime caused by a security breach could harm the global supply chain. With that in mind, Spin Master created a self-imposed 30-day deadline to extend its network protection capabilities to the edge.

Key Findings:

  • Think Long Term: The initial goal of establishing a stop-gap work-from-home (WFH) and work-from-anywhere (WFA) strategy has since morphed into a permanent strategy, requiring long-term solutions.
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  • Deliver Value: The team established two key requirements that the selected partner must deliver: implementation support and establishing an ongoing managed security operations center (SOC).
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Key Criteria for Evaluating Privileged Access Management

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Privileged Access Management (PAM) enables administrative access to critical IT systems while minimizing the chances of security compromises through monitoring, policy enforcement, and credential management.

A key operating principle of all PAM systems is the separation of user credentials for individual staff members from the system administration credentials they are permitted to use. PAM solutions store and manage all of the privileged credentials, providing system access without requiring users to remember, or even know, the privileged password. Of course, all staff have their own unique user ID and password that they use to complete everyday tasks such as accessing email and writing documents. Users who are permitted to handle system administration tasks that require privileged credentials log into the PAM solution, which provides and controls such access according to predefined security policies. These policies control who is allowed to use which privileged credentials when, where, and for what tasks. An organization’s policy may also require logging and recording of the actions undertaken with the privileged credentials.

Once implemented, PAM will improve your security posture in several ways. The first is by segregating day-to-day duties from duties that require elevated access, reducing the risk of accidental privileged actions. Secondly, automated password management reduces the possibility that credentials will be shared while also lowering the risk if credentials are accidentally exposed. Finally, extensive logging and activity recording in PAM solutions aids audits of critical system access for both preventative and forensic security.

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding consider reviewing the following reports:

Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.

GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.

Vendor Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.

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Adventist Risk Management Data Protection Infrastructure

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Companies always want to enhance their ability to quickly address pressing business needs. Toward that end, they look for new ways to make their IT infrastructures more efficient—and more cost effective. Today, those pressing needs often center around data protection and regulatory compliance, which was certainly the case for Adventist Risk Management. What they wanted was an end-to-end, best-in-class solution to meet their needs. After trying several others, they found the perfect combination with HYCU and Nutanix, which provided:

  • Ease of deployment
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Nutanix Cloud Platform provides a software-defined hyperconverged infrastructure, while HYCU offers purpose-built backup and recovery for Nutanix. Compared to the previous traditional infrastructure and data protection solutions in use at Adventist Risk Management, Nutanix and HYCU simplified processes, speeding day-to-day operations up to 75%. Now, migration and update activities typically scheduled for weekends can be performed during working hours and help to increase IT staff and management quality of life. HYCU further increased savings by providing faster and more frequent points of recovery as well as better DR Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) by increasing the ability to do daily backups from one to four per day.

Furthermore, the recent adoption of Nutanix Objects, which provides secure and performant S3 storage capabilities, enhanced the infrastructure by:

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In the end, Nutanix and HYCU enabled their customer to save money, improve the existing environment, and, above all, meet regulatory compliance requirements without any struggle.

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