NHS boards were urged by Scottish Government to review cyber security three months before ransomware attack

CYBER WARNING

Scots health boards were warned about the importance of cyber security in a letter from the government in February

Scots NHS boards were warned about cyber security three months before being struck by the global ransomware attack. The Scottish Government wrote to all health boards in February and urged them to review their IT systems and give assurances over back-up procedures.

This is the message on the screen of NHS workers after today's hack attack

This is the message on the screen of NHS workers after today’s hack attack

Eleven health boards as well as NHS National Services and the Scottish Ambulance Service were affected in an unprecedented cyber attack[1] which hit scores of countries around the globe. The attack impacted on hospital sites in Lanarkshire[2], as well as GP surgeries, dental practices and other primary care centres around the country.

Systems in Scotland were expected to be recovered by Monday and the First Minister said more than 120 public bodies have been contacted[3] to ensure their defences are adequate. It has now emerged NHS Scotland boards were reminded by the government in writing on February 21 of the importance of IT security and were told to review their systems.

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And NHS Digital also revealed NHS England trusts were sent details of a security patch last month that would have prevented the attack. Around one per cent of NHS computers are believed to have been affected by the hackers. A source said: “Notification of Microsoft patch updates is automated and pushed out to all registered users.

“Each organisation will have their own patching regime as part of their IT sk© Security SAVER SALE Strategy that is appropriate to their business needs.
“The Scottish Government wrote to all boards on 21st February 2017 reminding them of the importance of cyber security asking them to review the resilience of their systems and assurance around their backup procedures.”

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said private medical records were not compromised in Friday’s ransomware attack on NHS computers[4].

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland, Ms Sturgeon said: “A big priority over the weekend has been making sure NHS boards are minimising the impact on patients. “One thing that is very important to stress is that there is no evidence that there has been any patient data compromised, so patient confidentiality hasn’t been affected, but of course there will have been an impact on patients with some appointments cancelled.”

Nicola Sturgeon was right to make her admission about indy Scotland PA:Press Association

Nicola Sturgeon said no patient data was compromised

An investigation is under way to identify the cause of the attack and ministers are to convene an extraordinary meeting of the National Cyber Resilience leaders’ board on Tuesday to review the response to the breach.

Scots cops are working closely with officers from the National Crime Agency as part of the probe. Ms Sturgeon said she was not aware of any ransoms being paid over the cyber attack but said that will be part of the police investigation. A “range” of Windows operation systems are used by the NHS in Scotland and Ms Sturgeon said there is regular investment in cyber security.


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References

  1. ^ unprecedented cyber attack (www.thescottishsun.co.uk)
  2. ^ hospital sites in Lanarkshire (www.thescottishsun.co.uk)
  3. ^ 120 public bodies have been contacted (www.thescottishsun.co.uk)
  4. ^ ransomware attack on NHS computers (www.thescottishsun.co.uk)
  5. ^ [email protected] (www.thescottishsun.co.uk)
  6. ^ 0141 420 5266 (www.thescottishsun.co.uk)

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