Health data is more vulnerable to attacks

Health data is more vulnerable to attacks

While every company online needs to be extremely safe and secure when sending information online, The Australian reports that the Australian Health Department's e-health record system is extremely vulnerable to attack. Companies that send sensitive data online need to be sure they use safety methods such as x.509 SSL certificates and certificate authorities such as Thawte.

"But at the point of viewing, the security risks start to turn into the level of protection on the PC," Paul Madden, health chief information officer, said at a Cybersafety for Seniors inquiry last week in Sydney, according to the news source. "The mitigations are about consumer or health-provider information and education about securing and eradicating the risks that exist at the PC level."

Madden said companies and the health department need to take every step to make sure people are informed about the need for end-to-end security. When it comes to protecting important data, the role of security cannot just fall to the IT department, as there are risks across the company or department that need to be taken into consideration.

To protect the data, Madden said his department is putting information "under an encryption regime," so even if a hacker manages to get a file, they will not be able to decrypt it due to the security measures they have taken.

"We have a range of audit and logging techniques that will track all traffic, including inquiries and posting transactions," Madden said. "But we also have intrusion detection and patterning software that will allow us to detect abnormal access patterns, such as machine-led attacks."

The Pennsylvania Attorney General's website said high assurance SSL certificates are not only useful for sending health data online, but for keeping patients and anyone else surfing the web safe. The website said users should always check the website's URL for "https," which means its a secure connection. Users should also look for the lock icon to know the website is safe for use.