WannaCry ransomware, the latest and greatest data security threat, has caused so much mayhem that Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, is now looking to extend inspectorate powers through which they will be assessing the state of IT systems in healthcare.
Healthcare institutions will now have to make sure that they have reasonable data security measures in place, for which they will receive a suitable rating.
While the total number of devices affected by WannaCry is still a mystery, the NHS said that out of 1.5M connected devices, as many as 70,000 were still running Windows XP, an outdated operating system that was very vulnerable to this ransomware attack.
Due to this, the ransomware was able to quickly locate other computers on the same network that were also vulnerable and infect them as well.
Even though Microsoft released a critical security patch on March 14th, several trusts failed to update their systems in time, resulting in additional ransomware infections.
Neharika Ralhan, GlobalData’s health technology expert, seems to believe that trusts are not following the best data security practices due to a lack of governance. Sometimes, they do not invest in the most up-to-date IT equipment, preferring to stick with familiar technology. Ralhan criticised them about how they should not be doing things that way, just as you would not be using a scalpel before disinfecting it first.
Addressing the potential threat of a second wave of cyberattacks, Hunt commented that as of right now, there is no evidence that would suggest it.