International Nurses Day Overshadowed by NHS Cyber Attacks

15th May 2017 by Neel Patel

Friday 12th May on the anniversary of Florence Nightingales birth, International nurses’ day was recognised worldwide to celebrate the work nurses do. Marked in the UK by the ceremonial passing of a lamp between nurses at Westminster abbey to symbolise the passing of knowledge from one nurse to another. The day started well with spirits held high in support and recognition of the work that had been carried out by our Nurse Heroes, as one campaign called them.

Unfortunately these high spirits were short-lived, as the day drew to a close announcements began to come in of a NHS cyberattack leaving hospitals up and down the country incapable of accessing secure patient information.

NHS workers were hit with ransomware which created a blocking screen, making files inaccessible unless a transfer of “$300 via bitcoin” was transferred to the ransomware creators.

With nearly 50 trusts affected by these attacks on Friday, there are still fears that fresh disruption will affect another working day as devices that have yet to be switched on could be at the mercy of the ransomware virus that affected those online on Friday.

Cyberattacks on the NHS have frequently filled headlines in the past, yet regardless of their severity they seem to continue to occur. Recent announcements showed NHS computers have been running an outdated Windows operating system XP which carries a vulnerability. The critical patch that resolved this vulnerability had already been released by Windows in March of this year. Windows recently announced this patch does not cover XP as it is an operating system no longer updated by company.

With the NHS continuing to run outdated software, they place significant danger on secure patient information leaving themselves open to continual future attacks.

We want everyone in the world to get the best care and were disappointed a single cyberattack via avoidable ransomware was able to cripple the NHS’ ability to provide adequate care.

We take pride in our compliant technology allowing health and care teams all over the world to work together more effectively. Our application servers are not run on Windows OS therefore are not vulnerable and would not be compromised by similar cyberattacks as those seen at the NHS. Any laptop accessing these servers are patched within 24 hours of release. During the cyberattack our platform would still have been 100% accessible to Healthcare professionals and NHS workers providing them access to encrypted and secured health and care information through our servers.

We believe this is another clear example that demonstrates why we comply with the right information governance standards to keep equipment and confidential data safe from malicious cyberattacks.

Please get in touch with us if you’d like to find out more about how we ensure we are compliant and our software is routinely patched with the latest critical updates.