Obsolete Software and Hardware making NHS an easy target to Cyber Attacks

The Chief Executive of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), Professor Ciaran Martin, has highlighted concerns regarding the outdated software and hardware in NHS IT systems. He attributes recent ransomware attacks on the NHS to vulnerabilities in these systems.

Notably, attacks like WannaCry in 2017, linked to North Korea, and more recent incidents involving the Qilin ransomware gang, have compromised sensitive data, including patient records such as names, dates of birth, NHS details, and medical diagnoses. These breaches have forced the NHS to cancel appointments, including critical services like cancer treatments and kidney replacements.

Adding weight to these concerns is a recent cybersecurity report by Darktrace, a British cyber-security firm. The report reveals that 71% of organizations in the UK have already faced AI-powered cyber threats, with 91% expecting such threats to increase in the future.

As LockBit Ransomware group 3.0 has obtained some AI tools that not only find vulnerabilities in corporate networks, but can also predict the counter measures that the company is going to take to tackle the threat, thus giving enough time to criminals in repositioning their launch-tactics to prove imperative.

Despite this awareness, only 19% of business leaders believe their current IT infrastructure can adequately defend against such attacks. Many fear their organizations would be vulnerable and unable to mitigate the impact of targeted cyber assaults.

And if such attacks turn into cyber warfare for some adversary nations, then there is a great chance that the national infrastructure could cripple with such attacks within no time.

Naveen Goud
Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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