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ZoneFox comment: Patient data at risk after passwords hacked

August 2018 by Dr Jamie Graves, CEO and founder of ZoneFox.

Following this story in The Sunday Telegraph that broke on Saturday night — whereby passwords were stolen from Embrace Learning, an online training business used by healthcare workers to learn about topics such as data protection — the comment from Dr Jamie Graves, CEO and founder of ZoneFox.

"We must protect our globally renowned health service, so lessons must be learned from this hack. The target — an online training business used by healthcare workers — highlights the pivotal role played by many SMEs in the complex supply chains that help power our public infrastructure. Cyber criminals target organisations not only because of their own identity and data, but also because of the other institutions and prominent individuals they have access to.

If, as in this case, partners or vendors in a supply chain are permitted access to the network of care home and hospital staff — and, in turn, their patient data too — appropriate parameters must be defined for such access from the start. Once these standards are in place, they cannot be negotiable. Equally, the partners in question must be able to access cost-effective cyber security to protect data and proactively hunt for threats.

This, combined with a robust company-wide education programme is vital for safeguarding confidential data. What’s more, robust password managers are a must for anyone, not least our front-line NHS staff whose life-saving work inevitably entails access to sensitive patient data."

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