Way govt data is managed under review

A spokesman for the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group said more information about the review will be shared when ready.
A spokesman for the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group said more information about the review will be shared when ready.PHOTO: ST FILE

This follows recent data breaches; deeper probe into how details of blood donors were exposed

The Government is reviewing the way it manages its data, following several cases of data breaches and information being mishandled.

Details of this review are not yet available, but a spokesman for the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group said more information will be shared when ready.

Responding to queries from The Straits Times, a spokesman said the agency is also conducting a "deeper investigation" to find out how the information of more than 800,000 blood donors here was exposed online for more than two months, before the authorities were alerted to it by a cyber-security expert.

Secur Solutions Group, the IT vendor which the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) had engaged to update the records of the blood donors, did not have adequate safeguards in place when it put the information on an unsecured database.

"The Smart Nation and Digital Government Group is currently conducting a deeper investigation into the incident," said the spokesman. "The findings will inform us of the measures that need to be implemented and the assistance that HSA will require to rectify the situation."

News about this data management review comes after several recent cases of data mismanagement and breaches.

 
 
 

On Thursday, ST reported that e-mail log-in information of employees in several government agencies and educational institutions, as well as details of more than 19,000 compromised payment cards from banks here, had been put up for sale online by hackers.

Singapore was hit by its worst cyber attack in June last year when hackers went into the database of public healthcare cluster SingHealth and stole the personal data of 1.5 million patients and the outpatient prescription information of 160,000 people, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Another data breach was reported earlier this year, where the confidential details of 14,200 HIV patients were leaked online by American Mikhy Farrera-Brochez.

Details leaked included the patients' identification numbers and contact details.

Earlier this year, it was also reported that about 7,700 individuals received inaccurate healthcare subsidies under the Community Health Assist Scheme.

This was due to an error in a computer system administered by NCS, an information technology and communications engineering company and subsidiary of the Singtel Group.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 23, 2019, with the headline 'Way govt data is managed under review'. Print Edition | Subscribe