Workplace culture may be loosely defined or difficult to measure, but the consequences of a negative culture, such as one that encourages excessive risk-taking or stifles initiative, can be problematic if not downright catastrophic

SINGAPORE (Jan 21): Last July, Ernest Tan, a manager at Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS), was reluctant to inform his superiors about what was to become the most severe data breach in Singapore’s history. IHiS is the IT arm of the Ministry of Health, responsible for designing and managing the IT systems for the healthcare sector. Tan, whose job it was to report security incidents and respond accordingly, was worried about the attendant stress and having to work overtime; he admitted as much a few months later, during an inquiry IHiS commissioned into the breach at SingHealth, the country’s largest public healthcare organisation: “Once we escalate to management, there will be no day, no night.”

Tan was fired from his job on Jan 14, not long after the Committee of Inquiry (COI) released a public version of its findings on the breach and the lapses that led to it. IHiS also fined seven members of its management, including CEO Bruce Liang, “for their collective leadership responsibility”. Meanwhile, Wee Jia Huo, the cluster information security officer specifically responsible for cybersecurity in SingHealth, will be demoted and redeployed.

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