Singapore’s parliament will hold hearings with its state health provider, SingHeath, over recent cyber-attacks on the provider’s patient records system.
MPs are expected to file questions concerning the government’s failure to prepare for such an eventuality, along with additional comments on how the provider is expected to avoid a disastrous repeat. The basic information from over 1.5 million health records was obtained, with a smaller set of 160,000 individuals also having their prescription and medical history stolen.
With the records of Singapore’s PM also being obtained, the incident has raised serious questions in the country over the security of other computer systems relating to defence, critical infrastructure and social services, as well as whether the country can fend off a serious cyber-attack. Parliament is expected to outline proposals in comings weeks for the separation of such critical information system from open internet sources, as well as a review into the cyber-defence capabilities of all government departments.
Singapore’s recent experience with cyber-attacks highlights a trend where national governments and companies are increasingly realising their inexperience in dealing with such a contemporary threat. The government is expected to outline stronger data protection legislation, as well as stronger encryption of public records. It also highlights the importance of acting pre-emptively towards cyber-security threats not just in the medium-term, but in all long-term areas of government and business.
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Kai looks at security and political turbulence in the emerging market economies and also serves as a publisher with The Daily Brief.