Nova Scotia

Capital Health thwarts 1 million online attacks

Capital Health has recorded more than one million attempts to break through its electronic firewalls in the past year.

CEO of Capital Health, says only 20 attacks merited further investigation

Chris Powers, CEO of Capital Health, said only 20 attacks merited further investigation. (CBC)

Capital Health has recorded more than one million attempts to break through its electronic firewalls in the past year.

Chris Power, president of the organization overseeing Halifax-area hospitals, said no patient records had been compromised.

"We have recorded over a million possible threats. None has led to a data loss within our system," she said.

Most of the threats were routine malware or spyware attempts to break into the hospital computers, rather than specific attacks directed at Capital Health.

Twenty of the attacks were subject to further investigation.

Last fall, Nova Scotia’s auditor general noted "numerous and significant weaknesses in IT controls" at Capital Health and the IWK Health Centre.

Jacques Lapointe said that left the system open to a breach, but hospital officials said that has not happened.

"We are very confident in the integrity of our systems," said Anne McGuire, president of the IWK.

Her hospital’s systems have faced millions of attempts to access information.

McGuire said the firewalls have blocked each attempt. "Patients and families should be assured their information is securely managed by the IWK," she said.

Hospitals have had staff access patient files without authorization. Those employees have been disciplined or fired.

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