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NHS email cyber-attacks at alarming numbers

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Official records from NHS Digital reportedly show an alarming number of NHS email cyber-attacks, with the healthcare service said to have been hit by over 11 million in the last three years.

The data for the number of attacks that were successfully blocked was at a staggering 11,352,000 in the last three years. Although we can be positive about the fact that these attacks are those that were successfully stopped, the figures show the significant number of attacks that are taking place, and how much of a target the public healthcare system is.

The NHS was one of the worst-hit victims of the 2017 WannaCry incident as well. With them being such a target, what can be done when successful cyber-attacks take place?

NHS email cyber-attacks show they’re a target

We already knew that our public healthcare service was a massive target for criminals anyway, but the news of the sheer number of NHS email cyber-attacks is a stark reminder as to how big of a target they are.

They process and store a wealth of personal and sensitive information about millions of people. In the wrong hands, exposure of that kind of information can cause significant distress for victims, which is why data breach compensation amounts for these types of cases can be typically high.

Ransomware exploitation

One of the easiest ways of trying to exploit the fact that they hold such a wealth of information is through ransomware attacks. It may be far cheaper to pay a hacker who has locked down and encrypted NHS data than it is to risk the hacker leaking the data if a ransom isn’t paid.

Hackers and criminals are known to price their ransom demands at rates that they know are payable as well in order to maximise the chances of payments being received. There’s a real underground enterprise for this kind of thing, and the NHS is a massive – and valuable – target.

What can victims of NHS email cyber-attacks do?

Ultimately, it’s the victims of NHS email cyber-attacks whose data is leaked or exposed that suffer the most in terms of distress.

The distress over the exposure and the loss of control of information as private and sensitive as medical data can be significant. Medical data breach compensation claims are one of the most common types of individual legal cases we take forward, and we can tell you from years of experience that the impact on the victims can be catastrophic.

Although not a cyber-attack, the 56 Dean Street Clinic action we’re representing people for is a good example of the extent of the damage that can be done. In this case, the HIV status for hundreds of patients was accidentally leaked, and for some, the impact has been catastrophic.

Justice for victims is important, and that’s why victims have the option of seeking justice by way of an NHS data breach compensation claim and you can read more about them on this page here.

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 July 31, 2019
Posted in the following categories: Cybersecurity Hacking News Healthcare Latest Malware Ransomware Scammers Security and tagged with | | | | | | |

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