‘Basic IT security’ would have halted NHS hack

The NHS and the Department of Health need to “get their act together” or risk more damaging cyberattacks on their computer systems, a new report has warned.

It comes from the head of the National Audit Office (NAO) after they carried out an independent investigation into a cyberattack that crippled parts of the NHS in England in May.

On Friday 12 May, hundreds of computers were infected with ransomware called WannaCry – leading to thousands of appointments being cancelled and A&E departments having to turn away ambulances.

It was the largest ever cyberattack on the health service, but the review found it could have been prevented if “basic IT security” measures had been taken.

Sir Amyas Morse, the head of the NAO, said: “The WannaCry cyberattack had potentially serious implications for the NHS and its ability to provide care to patients.

“It was a relatively unsophisticated attack and could have been prevented by the NHS following basic IT security best practice.

“There are more sophisticated cyber threats out there than WannaCry so the Department (of Health) and the NHS need to get their act together to ensure the NHS is better protected against future attacks.”

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Source: Sky News