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Health Minister dismisses cybersecurity concerns

Health Minister dismisses cybersecurity concerns

In light of recent information that Lakes DHB is subject to 1.7 million cyberattacks per day Health Minister David Clark must ensure the sector and the public that something is being done to keep their data safe, National’s spokesperson for Data and Cybersecurity Dr Shane Reti says.

“Recently, a spokesperson from the David Clark’s office, told a Newshub reporter that Bay of Plenty DHB being subject to 800,000 cyberattacks per day wasn’t at a threshold that he would appear on camera to address these concerns.

“Information revealed in Parliament today shows Lakes DHB to be even worse than Bay of Plenty DHB at 1.7 million attacks per day that is, 20 times per second.

“In the House today when the Minister was asked whether the new information shows significantly more attacks on another DHB, firstly he didn’t know who the DHB was and secondly he naively replied that this only becomes a problem when there is a breach. This is not the right way to address cybersecurity issues.

“As a previous lecturer on cybersecurity I can tell him for free that if he does not act to support DHBs with their cybersecurity one of these attackers will eventually get through. Just one breach could expose New Zealanders private information and potentially wreak havoc in the health sector.

“His repeated dismissal of DHB cybersecurity concerns begs the question, what damage has to be done and what data has to be stolen or ransomed before he acts?

“The daily cyberattacks on Lakes DHB almost equals the number of cyberattacks on the whole Ministry of Health over a whole week. This shows that attackers are targeting smaller DHBs because they may lack vital infrastructure or have less cybersecurity support.

“National are concerned with cybersecurity and are seeking an urgent stock take of DHB cybersecurity by the independent Government agency CertNZ.

“CertNZ was setup by the previous National Government as a clear commitment to the cybersecurity of New Zealanders and their data.”

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