April 12, 2022

Reflections and predictions for BC digital health collaborations

By Event Correspondent Shayandeep Das

The second day of Digital Health Canada’s Western Regional Conference (March 28th and 29th) invited digital healthcare experts across British Columbia for discussions around the theme, “Reflections and predictions for BC digital health collaborations.”

The Cyber Security and Digital Health Panel, with Flavia Mpagi, the Director of Network Security and Privacy Officer for NTT DATA Services, Penny Longman, Director of Information Security and Data Stewardship for the Fraser Health Authority, Gordon McNeil, the Product Director and Privacy Officer of the Health Data Coalition, focused on the best practices and learnings for improving cybersecurity in digital health from the pandemic.

Improving Sector Resilience

The healthcare industry has been an unfortunate target of cybercrime during the pandemic, with the number of cases increasing (by 273% compared to pre-pandemic levels) and sophistication. Because of this, there has been a renewed commitment to improving cyber security policies, programs, and practices. Gordon McNeil describes his experience with changing policies and procedures:

“Your defences [might be] great, but you need to start changing your thinking…operate from the assumption that you will be breached.”

Other practices to improve resilience against cybercrime emphasized innovative social engineering. For example, Penny Longman said that her organization moved from standard blanket training to continued engagement with her team to improve awareness across the organization:

“Just changing people’s perspectives…we need a force field around everything important because the [current] walls are not going to keep everything out…we told you that you were safe inside, but now you’re not safe anymore.”

Learn more about the Western Region Virtual Conference here.