Data is rarely inert. It moves, finds itself diverting, adjusting and adapting to users and distributors. Ultimately, as unspectacular and banal as it might be, data sells, pushing the price in various markets whoever wishes to access it. Medical data, given its abundance, can do very nicely in such domains as the Dark Web. With governments attempting to find the optimum level of storing, monitoring and identifying the medical health of citizens, the issue of security has become pressingly urgent.
Britain’s National Health Service is a case in point. Last year, that venerable, perennially criticised body of health provision, received the full attention of the WananCry virus. Much of this was occasioned by carelessness: a good number of organisations were running on out-of-date Windows XP software. The principle of insecurity was, however, affirmed.
Last month, the Singaporean government faced the grim reality that 1.5 million health records had been accessed by hackers including, audaciously, the records of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. This well landed blow riled all the more for that state’s heralded insistence on the merits of its own cybersecurity. In the words of the government statement, “Investigations by the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) and the Integrated Health Information System (IHiS) confirmed that this was a deliberate, targeted and well-planned cyberattack.”
Lee, in an obvious effort to reassure, perhaps more…