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NHS cybersecurity: a matter of life and death

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It probably sounds rather obvious that NHS cybersecurity can be a matter for life and death, but when it comes to data breach compensation claims, medical incidents are still one of the most common.

You would therefore think that it should be an absolute priority, but as more and more of the healthcare system becomes digitalised, there can be more doorways for hackers to get in. At the same time, the healthcare sector is an obvious target given the wealth of personal and sensitive information that’s stored and processed within it.

Victims of a healthcare cybersecurity incident can be entitled to make a claim for medical data breach compensation. But we cannot ignore the fact that such incidents can mean physical harm to patients as well, and then it’s more than a case for the distress caused by the loss of control of private information.

A matter of life and death

It’s obvious that issues with NHS cybersecurity can be a matter of life and death. The WannaCry cyberattack of 2017 resulted in widespread chaos throughout the healthcare service, with some departments having to close temporarily.

Imagine an A & E department crippled by a cyberattack, leading to staff being unable to access important records, and even unable to use computers that are vital for operating machinery and reading scans. Imagine heart attack or stroke patients who cannot get the best care fast enough because systems aren’t working. Even the delays caused by such an attack can have a pivotal knock-on effect and lead to delayed treatment.

All this can risk patient lives. Even small delays when it comes to serious matters could mean a patient loses their life, so the importance of NHS cybersecurity can never be understated. In scenarios where patients need to be moved to other units as a result of an incident, the additional pressure on those units taking the slack can then have a knock-on effect as well.

Even the aftermath is serious

Even in the aftermath of an NHS cybersecurity incident, patients can still face serious risks. Having to deal with delays and backlogs that have been caused, as well as the financial losses, could be just as harmful.

I heard about some research in the US recently that indicated that there can be increased numbers of deaths from heart attacks after a data breach has taken place. In serious medical emergencies like this, every second can count, and the impact of delays can last for weeks or even months.

Ultimately, there must be proper investment in healthcare cybersecurity, or patients are at risk when it comes to both the loss of control of personal information and are at risk of further physical suffering as well.

NHS cybersecurity compensation claims

Victims of an NHS cybersecurity incident can be entitled to make a claim for medical data breach compensation.

You could claim for the distress caused by the misuse or the loss of control of your personal and private information. If you physically suffer, you can also be entitled to make a claim for personal injury as well, and we can represent people for both types of cases.

IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.

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First published by Matthew on October 29, 2019
Posted in the following categories: Claims Cybersecurity Hacking News Healthcare Security and tagged with | | | | | | | |


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