Understanding LifeLabs Massive Security Attack and Ransom

The huge news this week that affects millions of Canadians mostly in Ontario and British Columbia, was the hacking of personal information of approximately 15 million of LifeLabs customers.  Info could include name, address, email, logic, passwords, date-of-birth, health card number and their lab test results.  There are so many implications from this breach.

Currently details of the hack have not been revealed as it is under investigation. According to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario and British Columbia “cyber criminals penetrated the company’s systems, extracting data and demanded a ransom,” which LifeLabs paid.

570 News contacted CopperTree Solutions to have one of their specialists provide insight into how this could happen and how to help prevent this. Below is the audio interview link with Matthew Hutchinson, the Virtual Chief Information Officer for CopperTree Solutions, based in Waterloo, ON.

https://www.570news.com/audio/kitchener-today-with-brian-bourke/   (Dec 18- CopperTree on LifeLabs Breach on 570 News)

Here are a few takeaways from the interview:  “We are in the early days from the announcement of this serious cyber attack.   Viruses have gotten extremely sophisticated.  These criminals may be stealing or just encrypting and holding data for ransom to unlock it.”

“Unfortunately, there is not a 100% guaranteed perfect solution to protect data from being compromised. CopperTree’s business is to help plan, secure and backup important data, and we do it exceptionally well. What is important is to have many layers in your well-designed network to complicate it as much as possible.  It is also important to have policies put in place and enforce rules for all employees.  We can help you with that as well.”

“Cyber attacks have become an industry in itself.  Because they are so sophisticated and lucrative, they expand.  Paying should be a last resort as to not support criminals.  You would need to review what is the risk if you don’t pay.  We are guessing LifeLabs had no choice to pay as they have a moral obligation to protect the data. LifeLabs may not have had a choice especially when there was so much confidential financial and medical information held ransom.” 

“CopperTree can get the safety needle as close as possible to get a system up there.  We work on early warning signs. Know there are more and more new technologies coming available for defense.” 

CopperTree Solutions provides regular articles to help businesses be aware of the latest threats, tips to help protect your business and plan your defense, to help you sleep at night.  Here are a few of our articles on this topic, you may find helpful.  Visit us at coppertreesolutions.ca to learn more.

CopperTree Solutions serves clients both large and small, in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, Stratford, and around South Western Ontario.

Call 519-804-2461 or Colin.Shantz@ctsol.ca

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