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Organisations in the health sector around the world have experienced cyber attacks in recent months (Bigstock)

Australia’s healthcare sector will get increased cyber protection under an Albanese government plan to establish a new intelligence centre, using a model already in place in the banking and finance industry. Source: AFR.

The Information Sharing and Analysis Centre (ISAC) is part of an effort to upgrade the country’s cyber safeguards at a system level, especially across high-risk industries. Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil announced $6.4 million in pilot funding last week.

The ISAC will host a platform for high-speed sharing of threat information. It will connect big businesses, non-profits and government organisations working in health and hospitals, speeding up indicators of cyber compromise, and spread information about successful responses and preventative measures for cybercrime.

Intelligence agency the Australian Signals Directorate hosts a national system which can feed information into the ISAC when appropriate.

Ms O’Neil said government intervention to kick-start the model for high-risk sectors was long overdue.

“Healthcare providers tend to hold highly sensitive data, and they often struggle with building and funding strong cyber protections,” she said. “That’s why healthcare providers are one of the most common, and most damaging, targets of cyberattack. This is a pattern we see all over the world.”

Michelle Fitzgerald, the chief digital officer at St Vincent’s Health Australia, said the industry had approached the Government about boosting protections.

“There’s a lot of focus on the data but in the case of healthcare, we’re also working with patients every single day. So it’s an additional dynamic and brings additional risk.

“We need to co-operate and share knowledge because we’re up working against a very sophisticated global sector.”

In December, St Vincent’s Health revealed it had sustained a major cyberattack, losing data to cybercriminals who gained access through a compromised account.


Cyber protection boosted in critical healthcare sector (By Tom McIlroy, Australian Financial Review)