DICT intensifies cybersecurity awareness and education

MORE than 50 doctors, nurses, and other health officers of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) took part in a Cybersecurity Forum on December 5 at the BGHMC Cancer Institute Center Conference Room led by the Cybersecurity Bureau of the Department of Information Communications and Technology (DICT).

Officers of the Bureau disclosed that globally, the health sector is ranked as the second most vulnerable sector on cyber threats in 2018 with the finance sector ranking in first.

In the Philippines, they have monitored cases where electronic records of patients have been compromised due to hacking.

“There has been a rise in threats sa healthcare because health records of patients are being sold in the dark net without the knowledge of the patient. Example, yung mga deceased, before it gets to our statistics office, it takes time, minsan six months to a year. Before that time, those data can be sold for financial transactions,” Genalyn Macalinao of the Policy Lead of the Cybersecurity Bureau explained.

Threats to the health sector may even increase further due to the emergence of IOT (Internet of Things) devices or equipment embedded with electronics, softwares and sensors.

Though these upgrades may make medical services better, easier and faster, these can also be channels that criminals can access.

“Everything that is connected is vulnerable. Ang papasukan ng criminals ay yung mga hindi masyadong tinututukan ng security like ventilation, heating, aircondition. That’s why we are offering our services to help them craft their cyber security strategy, policies and eventually yung pagpurchase ng security systems nila,” Macalinao stated.

Doctor Frederick Untalan, chairman of the BGHMC Hospital Data Protection Committee said with the convergence of medicine and technology, they want to be proactive in improving their cybersecurity.

“Making cyberspace a safe venue for everyone’s business is everybody’s responsibility,” Engineer William Rojas, officer-in-charge of DICT Luzon Cluster I said.

DICT has also started taking initiatives with the Commission of Higher Education for the incorporation of Cybersecurity in the curriculum of universities and colleges.


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