Urgent: Investment In NHS Cybersecurity

A "massive" increase in spending is needed to prevent another "avoidable" cyber-attack on UK’s NHS computer systems, an expert has warned, following a ransomware attack hit 11 health boards in Scotland (pictured), as well as many other organisations worldwide.

Prof Bill Buchanan said the attack should act as a "wake-up call" to the government and health service. And he warned the NHS faced bigger threats, such as a large-scale power outage, that could cause loss of life.

Holyrood's health committee heard the WannaCry virus found its way into Scottish NHS systems either through their connection with the NHS England network or through the Internet.

It was able to spread through computers that were vulnerable through a combination of their use of a particular piece of software that shares information between devices, a particular network firewall configuration and the fact they had not been upgraded or "patched up" to the latest version of Microsoft software.

The unprecedented attack, which hit scores of countries, impacted on acute hospital sites in Lanarkshire as well as GP surgeries, dental practices and other primary care centres around Scotland. Health Secretary Shona Robison told the committee that swift action and co-ordination by the NHS in Scotland had limited the impact of the ransomware attack on its network.

But Prof Buchanan, from the Cyber Academy at Edinburgh Napier University, said the penetration of the virus "was avoidable" and there was no excuse for the patch or upgrade not having been carried out. He agreed with Green MSP Alison Johnstone that the incident should act as a "wake-up call" and called for a review of health and social care IT infrastructure.
He said: "This was a critical patch, critical is the highest level. If you want to use something from Spinal Tap, this was an 11 out of 10 in terms of its threat.
"So it should have been patched, it was well known and it was a race for the industry to catch up with the patch before those with the skills to make something malicious turned their evil hands to something.
"I think we got out of this very well but it could happen that it would be much more severe."
He added: "Our systems are legacy and we need to admit that.
"I think we need a massive increase in spending not just on computers, but in really looking at healthcare services and how we provide that to the citizen."

Andy Robertson, director of IT at NHS National Services Scotland, said the health service had measures in place to protect against these types of threats.

He pointed out that the virus had infiltrated only 1% of NHS Scotland's computers, amounting to some 1,500 devices.
"We think our defences worked fairly well in terms of the impact it had on the health service and we think where we were breached we were able to recover as per our recovery plans," he said.
He agreed that extra investment was needed, suggesting a further £15m a year on top of the £100m currently spent on centrally-managed IT programmes in the NHS.

That amount was described as a "sticking plaster" by Prof Buchanan, who said: "I think you need to add zero and then maybe another zero."

BBC

You Might Also Read:

NHS Cyberattack Was 'launched from N. Korea':

Healthcare Sector Accounts For 43% Of UK Data Breaches:

How Cybercrime Affects The Healthcare Industry:

 

 

« Petya Cyber Attack Update
App Or Browser: Which Is Safer For Online Banking? »

CyberSecurity Jobsite
Perimeter 81

Directory of Suppliers

Authentic8

Authentic8

Authentic8 transforms how organizations secure and control the use of the web with Silo, its patented cloud browser.

Cyber Security Supplier Directory

Cyber Security Supplier Directory

Our Supplier Directory lists 6,000+ specialist cyber security service providers in 128 countries worldwide. IS YOUR ORGANISATION LISTED?

XYPRO Technology

XYPRO Technology

XYPRO is the market leader in HPE Non-Stop Security, Risk Management and Compliance.

CSI Consulting Services

CSI Consulting Services

Get Advice From The Experts: * Training * Penetration Testing * Data Governance * GDPR Compliance. Connecting you to the best in the business.

IT Governance

IT Governance

IT Governance is a leading global provider of information security solutions. Download our free guide and find out how ISO 27001 can help protect your organisation's information.

Association of Information Security Professionals (AISP)

Association of Information Security Professionals (AISP)

The Association of Information Security Professionals (AISP) represents the interests of information security professionals in Singapore.

Hyve

Hyve

Hyve provide a wide range of managed web hosting services including private, hybrid and public VMware cloud hosting.

CionSystems

CionSystems

CionSystems provides identity, access and authentication solutions to improve security and streamline IT infrastructure management.

Mitek Systems

Mitek Systems

Mitek's global mobile capture and identity verification technology optimizes the digital user experience for thousands of financial services organizations.

Devel

Devel

Devel is a LATAM cybersecurity company specialized in providing red, blue and purple team services for the financial sector.

European Society of Criminology (ESC)

European Society of Criminology (ESC)

The ESC Working Group on Cybercrime is focused on cybercrime, its causes and offenders, impact on victims, and our response to it at the individual, corporate, and governmental levels.

National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium (NCPC)

National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium (NCPC)

The mission of the NCPC is to provide research-based, cybersecurity-related training, exercises and technical assistance to local jurisdictions, counties, states and the private sector.

Inavate Consulting

Inavate Consulting

Inavate Consulting are experts in defining and implementing information assurance solutions and governance frameworks. Our ISO27001 consultants are the most experienced in the industry.

UNIDIR Cyber Policy Portal

UNIDIR Cyber Policy Portal

The UNIDIR Cyber Policy Portal is an online reference tool that maps the cybersecurity and cybersecurity-related policy landscape.

Future Technology Systems Company (FutureTEC)

Future Technology Systems Company (FutureTEC)

FutureTEC is a leading Information Technology Solutions Provider, delivering world-class Information Security, Information Management, and Business Solutions.

Path Forward IT

Path Forward IT

Path Forward IT has been troubleshooting, architecting, migrating, protecting, and securing IT environments for businesses across the USA since 2002.

Accedian

Accedian

Accedian is a leader in performance analytics and end user experience solutions, dedicated to providing our customers with the ability to assure their digital infrastructure.

CERT.JE

CERT.JE

CERT.JE is responsible for promoting and improving the cyber resilience across the critical national infrastructure, business communities and citizens in Jersey.

Kiteworks

Kiteworks

Kiteworks (formerly Accellion) creates a dedicated Private Content Network that ensures zero-trust private content protection and compliance.

Metmox

Metmox

Metmox mission is to be trusted advisor and partner to protect our customer’s evolving Cloud, Network, Application, IT infrastructure and cybersecurity needs.

Hexagon

Hexagon

Hexagon is a global leader in digital reality solutions. We are putting data to work to boost efficiency, productivity, quality and safety.