Singapore began implementing the disconnection of staff computers used for government work from the internet back in 2016, but did not do the same for healthcare computers. Now, they believe that they should have. “We could, and should, have implemented internet surfing separation on public healthcare systems, just as we have done on our public sector systems,” Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said.
This practice is known as “air-gapping” and is normally deemed mostly ineffective by cybersecurity researchers in deterring an especially determined cybercriminal. Earlier this week, we reported that that Russian hackers were able to infiltrate a US electric grid by breaking into “theoretically secure” air-gapped networks of trusted utility vendors. Air-gapping can help, but should not be the only security measure in place to protect an enterprise or government.
The health ministry stated that the disconnection will cause “some inconvenience for patients and healthcare staff, as a result of the unavailability of some IT system connections that require the internet,” but the decision was ultimately made to prevent future cyberattacks.
Government officials are still declining to say who they believe was behind the attack.
Get the full story on Reuters.