Recently, the government decided to pump £150M into the cybersecurity department of NHS. Given how the WannaCry ransomware was terrorising the healthcare sector in May 2017, this is a much-needed sort of boost. But, will it be enough?
Healthcare industry leaders will need to understand how these technologies are being used before they can establish a suitable form of defence.
For starters, upgrading all systems to Microsoft Windows 10 is a move that will definitely bolster the cybersecurity aspect of their network. Anti-malware tools are another huge step in the overall equation. A huge portion of the new financial injection will go towards upgrading the NHS firewalls and network infrastructure.
The goal is to prevent system outages and unauthorised access to patient data in the future. In May 2017, it’s estimated that about 19,000 operations and appointments had to be cancelled due to the WannaCry ransomware attacks.
Recent research from Trend Micro indicates that there might be 80,000 exposed IoT devices running in hospitals all around the globe. These include:
– Surgical equipment
– Patient monitoring
– Diagnostic equipment
If the cybersecurity aspect of these devices is lacking in strength, hackers could get their hands on sensitive patient data, protocols, industrial controllers, medical images, and so forth.
Given that the healthcare industry has a tendency to use outdated software, as clearly indicated by the WannaCry attacks exposing the XP operating systems they used, the £150M boost is very welcome. The question is, to what extent is it going to help?