A Cybersecurity Overview of the Canadian Health Sector: Threats, Solutions and Lessons Learned

Presented by Louis Melançon as a part of the 2020 Serene-risc Workshop on The State of Canadian Cybersecurity Conference: Human-Centric Cybersecurity

About the presentation

The Canadian health sector is undergoing a slow but irresistible digital transformation. Medical devices which used to be traditionally standalone are now integrated into hospital networks. Electronic records allow health professionals to rapidly access and share patient information. Although these technological developments bring better care to patients and allow for easier collaboration between healthcare practitioners, they also bring new risks. Cybersecurity incidents and data breaches can compromise sensitive data and ultimately endanger care services.

This presentation, based on a short research report written for SERENE-RISC in August 2020, provides a cybersecurity overview of the Canadian health sector. We will look at the latest statistics concerning the cybersecurity practices of Canadian health businesses, present each of the five major cyber threats to healthcare and examine the recommended security safeguards and measures. We will also shortly cover the current state of Canadian privacy laws related to healthcare, as well as some interesting recommendations from the latest academic research on cybersecurity practices in the health sector.

About the speaker

Louis Melançon is a PhD candidate in the Communication Studies department at McGill University. His research focuses on the Heartbleed vulnerability of 2014 and the shifts in security norms and practices resulting from major cybersecurity events. A graduate from the Master’s program in Knowledge Transfer and Mobilization at the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS), he has been co-editor of the SERENE-RISC Digest since January 2020.