Despite the fact that the end-of-support deadline is drawing near, slightly more than three quarters of the UK’s NHS computers still have Microsoft Windows 7 installed on them. In concrete numbers, this is more than one million units.
Time is ticking, and there is now less than half a year until Microsoft Windows 7 is no longer supported. In fact, the official deadline is January 2020 and the end of support is almost here. According to Jo Platt MP, the shadow cabinet office minister, this is deeply concerning.
In 2017, Platt drew attention to unpatched computers in the industry that were vulnerable to WannaCry, one of the most notorious examples of ransomware in modern times. The dastardly outcome of them not taking cybersecurity seriously enough led to more than 20,000 appointments being cancelled and around £92m in damages.
Jackie Doyle-Price responded to the criticism by stating that the process of migrating to Windows 10 was already underway. In addition, the computers in the process of migrating to the newer version of Microsoft Windows will also be receiving Advanced Threat Protection.
However, there is another matter that’s arguably even more pressing. A small percentage of NHS machines are running Windows XP, a version that’s also no longer supported and known to be extremely vulnerable to cyberattacks. As things stand right now, Doyle-Price says that no timeframe has been set for the complete removal of these. Allegedly, this is because Windows XP is embedded in medical devices, so removal is not always an option.