Study on delinking some healthcare PCs permanently

After the discovery of the cyber attack last month, the Ministry of Health implemented the separation across public healthcare clusters for a limited period.
After the discovery of the cyber attack last month, the Ministry of Health implemented the separation across public healthcare clusters for a limited period. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

The Government is studying ways to keep Internet surfing separation (ISS) a permanent measure in some parts of the public healthcare system following Singapore's worst cyber attack involving the personal data of 1.5 million SingHealth patients.

Replying to questions from MPs yesterday, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong acknowledged that Internet surfing separation could lead to inconvenience, including longer waiting times for consultations.

"We will need to develop longer-term mitigation solutions to overcome the operational issues if ISS (Internet surfing separation) is to stay," he told Parliament.

After the discovery of the cyber attack last month, the Ministry of Health implemented the separation across public healthcare clusters for a limited period.

MOH is also looking into using virtual browsers on quarantined servers to access the Internet safely. It is expected to complete a pilot of such a system by the end of next month.

Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran said last month's attack was the work of an "advanced persistent threat" group that is typically state-linked. "We have done everything in our means to secure the system to detect any residual risk and eliminate it," he stressed.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 07, 2018, with the headline 'Study on delinking some healthcare PCs permanently'. Print Edition | Subscribe