Cyber-Attacks Produced 18 Days of NHS Work stoppage

July 1, 2018


Over 17% of NHS trusts suffered security-related stoppage over the past three years, resulting in more than 18 days of IT outages, as per new Freedom of Information (FOI) data announced by Intercity Technology.

The IT solutions supplier got FOI replies from 80 trusts, about a third of the total in England.

Of these, 25 (31%) declared to have suffered IT outages between January 2015 and February 2018, with 14 of them the consequence of a safety breach. Altogether, the 80 replying trusts suffered 18 safety occurrences, resulting in more than 18 days of stoppage.

The total figure for IT stoppage surpassed 1300 hours, which averages out to more than 16 hours per trust. The number of breaches and stoppage would no doubt have been even more had more Trusts replied.

Even though the WannaCry ransomware outages of May 2017 will have accounted for a big number of these “safety breaches,” some replying companies also fell victim to the Locky and Zepto variations, with the most ruthless attack putting down systems offline for two weeks, as per Intercity Technology.

It’s projected that WannaCry resulted in the annulment of 19,000 meetings and operations, upsetting at least 34% of trusts in England.

Ian Jackson, who is accountable for prominent public and private sector companies at Intercity Technology, contended that the latest cybersecurity financing enhancement declared by the government will have a limited effect.

“The extra £150m which has lately been reserved to improve cyber fortifications will just make sure that NHS IT systems are brought up to date, and perform as a gumming bandage on under-investment and the constant use of legacy operating systems. What is required is smarter and constant investment in IT systems and safety defenses to make sure long-term safety,” he stated Infosecurity.

“As we witnessed with WannaCry, a fruitful cyber-attack on a healthcare company can have a huge impact on its day-to-day functions. After this attack, it’s reassuring to see trusts throughout the country making progresses towards improving their fortifications, and the cybersecurity industry is definitely working in association with these trusts to avoid future occurrences.”