The fact that the NHS is vulnerable to cyberattacks – especially when compared to many other organisations – is not a new thing at all; but the continuing risk is a continual concern.
A recent report by ZDNet is understood to have demonstrated that some half a million computers being used by the NHS are still running older and outdated software, like Windows 7 Operating Systems. What this means is that the systems and software they’re using may not be good enough to prevent a cyberattack, which is a huge cause for concern.
We must appreciate that patients’ lives are at risk as well as the fact that any medical data exposure case is usually significant given the type of information involved. What needs to be done, and what can the victims to?
How the NHS is vulnerable to cyberattacks
The NHS is vulnerable to cyberattacks as a result of older and outdated software and systems that can be easier to break into.
Developers eventually stop patching older software and systems as people move to newer ones. As such, using older systems means that patches may not be available or may not be effective, so known security risks can not be defended against. This can mean that it’s far easier for cyberhackers to break into these systems and steal or expose data contained therein.
The 2017 WannaCry incident was a clear example of this. The software used by the hackers was designed to specifically target older and outdated systems that were easier to break into. As you may recall, the NHS was significantly affected by the incident
What needs to be done?
Simply put, systems and software used by our vital healthcare service must be current and up to date. Older and outdated infrastructure must be replaced. This is the only way to protect vital patient data.
Of course, this means that funding is required, which we know is far easier said than done right now. It’s for the government to step up and ensure that the NHS is properly resourced when it comes to their IT infrastructure. The alternative is that the NHS is vulnerable to cyberattacks and will continue to be susceptible to data hacks, breaches and leaks until something is done.
This, in turn, means the greater likelihood of healthcare data breach compensation cases that we often take forward for people. As a leading data breach law firm, we can tell you from considerable experience that these types of cases can be incredibly common, and it’s clear to us that more needs to be done to protect vital patient information.
What can the victims of a medical data breach do?
A victim of an NHS data breach can be entitled to make a claim for compensation with us on a No Win, No Fee basis. Medical information is incredibly sensitive and the distress that can be caused by the loss of control of this kind of information can be substantial.
This is exactly why data breach compensation pay-outs for cases like this tend to be high.
A medical data breach claim that has arisen because the NHS is vulnerable to cyberattacks when more could – and should – have been done is the only way victims can access the justice that they deserve. We offer free, no-obligation advice to victims, and you can contact our team for help and advice today.
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 March 20, 2020
Posted in the following categories: Claims Cybersecurity Government Healthcare Latest Security Technology and tagged with compensation | cybersecurity | data breach | medical data breach | medical records | nhs