Ready for cy­ber hit

Health board pre­pared

East Kilbride News - - NEWS - Ross Thom­son

NHS La­nark­shire’s chief ex­ec­u­tive be­lieves the health board is in bet­ter shape to re­spond to any fu­ture cy­ber at­tacks.

Al­most 500 pa­tient ap­point­ments and pro­ce­dures were can­celled when com­put­ers were in­fected by the ‘Wan­naCry’ ran­somware in May.

The health board was also hit by a fur­ther cy­ber-at­tack in Au­gust – which led to 184 can­celled ap­point­ments.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Calum Camp­bell was speak­ing fol­low­ing an NHS re­port into the in­ci­dents which re­vealed the scale of the at­tacks.

Mr Camp­bell said: “Fol­low­ing the cy­ber at­tack in May we took prompt and ro­bust ac­tion to im­prove the se­cu­rity of our IT sys­tems, which helped limit the im­pact of the mal­ware in­ci­dent in Au­gust.

“We apol­o­gise to any pa­tients af­fected by the May and Au­gust in­ci­dents.

“Our staff went above and be­yond dur­ing th­ese in­ci­dents to suc­cess­fully min­imise the in­con­ve­nience to pa­tients and quickly re­store our IT sys­tems.

“The in­tegrity of our pa­tient data was main­tained in both cases. Ev­ery or­gan­i­sa­tion through­out the world needs to recog­nise and pre­pare for fu­ture cy­ber threats of this kind.

“Our ex­pe­ri­ence, de­tailed anal­y­sis and learn­ing from both in­ci­dents along with ro­bust ac­tions to en­hance our cy­ber se­cu­rity mean that NHS La­nark­shire is much bet­ter placed to meet and re­spond to th­ese chal­lenges.”

The Wan­naCry ran­somware, which af­fected about 150 coun­tries in May, takes over users’ files, de­mand­ing $300 (£230) to re­store them. Mi­crosoft re­leased a se­cu­rity patch in March 2017 that blocked it.

Mean­while, nom­i­na­tions are be­ing sought for NHS La­nark­shire’s an­nual staff awards.

Pa­tients, vis­i­tors and staff have the op­por­tu­nity to nom­i­nate staff and vol­un­teers for the care that they pro­vide.

Mr Camp­bell added: “We have a lot of hard-work­ing and ded­i­cated staff through­out La­nark­shire, who pro­vide an ex­cep­tional stan­dard of care and ser­vice on a daily ba­sis. The awards let us all say thank you for the ex­cep­tional work that they do.”

Visit www.nhsla­nark­ to nom­i­nate some­one.

Nom­i­na­tions can also be made by call­ing (01698) 377790 and forms are avail­able at NHS La­nark­shire sites. Clos­ing date for nom­i­na­tions is De­cem­ber 31.

We took prompt and ro­bust ac­tion...

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