Advertisement

Insurance provider for public servants abroad detects 'cybersecurity incident'

MSH international Canada, the insurance provider for members of the Public Service Health Care Plan who are posted abroad or travelling, says it recently detected a 'cybersecurity incident' involving its systems.  (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press - image credit)
MSH international Canada, the insurance provider for members of the Public Service Health Care Plan who are posted abroad or travelling, says it recently detected a 'cybersecurity incident' involving its systems. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press - image credit)

The insurance provider for members of the Public Service Health Care Plan who are posted abroad or travelling says it recently detected a "cybersecurity incident" involving its systems, but hasn't determined what information may have been accessed.

MSH International Canada said it detected the incident on Feb. 9., and immediately paused services. Law enforcement was notified and a thorough investigation is underway, the insurance provider said in a statement.

It's not known what information may have been accessed in the security incident, the insurance provider said.

"We are working to determine if personal information was affected by this incident. If the investigation determines personal information was affected, impacted individuals will be notified," MSH said.

MSH is a sub-contractor of Canada Life and provides "emergency travel and comprehensive coverage services" to members of the Public Service Health Care Plan who are out of the country.

Possible delays in processing claims

As a result of the incident, some systems are currently offline. Claims are currently unable to be processed, and members cannot log into their MSH member portal.

"This may result in delays in claims processing and the inability to provide claims status," MSH said, adding its contact centre remains available by phone.

The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) says it has been made aware of the incident and that federal cybersecurity and privacy experts have been in constant contact with Canada Life.

The incident is a "stark reminder" of the risks cybercriminals pose to both public and private organizations in Canada and abroad, Treasury Board President Anita Anand said in a statement Wednesday.

"[They] are continuously looking for opportunities to exploit information technology vulnerabilities, cause disruptions, steal sensitive data," Anand said. "And every link in a global supply chain can pose a threat to cybersecurity."

Anand said the TBS has asked Canada Life and MSH to "diligently" investigate what happened and restore services promptly and safely.

Canada Life is looking at ways to get people access to their benefits while those services are unavailable, she added.