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Experts Say Australia’s Digital Healthcare Is Vulnerable To Cyberattacks

According to top cybersecurity firms, Australia’s digital healthcare networks are vulnerable to cyberattacks, which is particularly problematic during the COVID-19 pandemic, as more Australians are relying on telehealth services.

To raise the standards of cybersecurity of individual health professionals, cyber experts are recommending that the government formulate a mandatory set of standards and national guidelines that all healthcare networks must meet.

“As executives, unless they have a reporting mandate to government, many of them will sweep it under the carpet,” Carlo Minassian, the Founder of cybersecurity company LMNTRIX, told the Sydney Morning Herald. “Historically in the health sector, when it comes to security and privacy many have been underfunded.”

In particular, Minassian said that digital health start-ups are particularly vulnerable, as many have launched in an operating environment where there is no cybersecurity framework in place. “I’ve worked with dozens of start-ups – and unless they are really tech savvy, they take the minimum protections,” Minassian said.

Source: Telstra

Ensuring that healthcare employees are aware of best cyber security practices will also be key to preventing cyberattacks.

“70-90% of successful data breaches are the result of a successful phishing campaign where the cybercriminal will attempt to lure an unsuspecting employee into engaging with a malicious email… Many times the employee is completely unaware that they have fallen for these attacks,” Jacqueline Jayne, security awareness advocate at IT training firm KnowBe4 told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Indeed, cybersecurity company Mimecast reported that cyber-attackers were shifting their focus to target employees returning to work, with emails that claimed to have updated COVID-19 protocols. In addition, they were using more unique methods to scam employees, such as vishing, SMShing and deepfake audio.

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