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Official documents have revealed there are up to 800,000 cyberattacks a day on the Bay of Plenty DHB, despite the Health Minister dismissing cybersecurity concerns in general as ‘hypothetical’, National’s Data and Cybersecurity spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says.

 “And as the UK deals with the aftermath of a serious cyber-attack, highlighting the vulnerability of individual health data, Health Minister David Clark’s dismissive approach to cyber security in New Zealand is a real concern.

“Official information obtained by the National Party shows just how prolific these cyber-attacks are, with most of the 800,000 daily attacks on the Bay of Plenty DHB originating in Russia and the Ukraine.

“In light of the recent WannaCry ransomware attack that crippled the National Health System in the UK it is imperative that our DHBs are fully equipped to handle and protect the important data that they hold.

“Bay of Plenty DHB for example has been cyberattacked three times more per week than the whole Ministry of Health. It had to put in corrective measures to block the attacks because there were so many that the DHB audit log was filling up every 30 days.

“Dr Clark has also downplayed cybersecurity issues by saying he won’t deal in hypotheticals. There is nothing hypothetical about our DHBs being under cyberattack– it is clearly occurring and at an alarming rate.

“This shows a lack of leadership. The Minister needs to undertake an urgent cybersecurity stocktake across all DHBs and dramatically improve security measures and monitoring.

“CertNZ is well placed to do that work. It was established by the National Government as a first response cybersecurity centre for collating, analysing and advising members of the public, business and the government on cybersecurity matters.

“The Health Minister needs to take issues of cybersecurity in our DHBs seriously and act to ensure that our DHBs, the systems that they run and the data that they hold is safe.”

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