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Global Positioning System ask patients to delay contact while cyber-attack backlog clears

19 May 2017

"In addition to protective real-time monitoring of national NHS IT services and systems, which were unaffected by this issue, we are supporting NHS organisations by undertaking cyber security testing and providing bespoke advice and action points".

Tehan urged businesses to visit the website of the ACSC or phone (1300 CYBER1) for more information.

"If people have hospital or GP appointments they should attend unless told otherwise".

Around 6500 NHS Scotland computers still use an outdated operating system, the health minister has confirmed following last week's cyber attack.

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The NHS was badly affected by the WannaCry ransomware virus, which affected more than 300,000 computers, with 47 trusts in England and 13 Scottish health boards compromised.

NHS England says it is continuing to work with GP surgeries to ensure that they are putting in place a range of measures to protect themselves. Over the weekend, the hospital was able to accept patients from other hospitals which were affected - including Broomfield, in Chelmsford, and Colchester - while continuing to maintain a good service thanks to staff across the hospital trust pulling out all the stops to keep it up and running.

The recent global ransomware attack has once again proved that healthcare sector remains to be the most vulnerable to cybercrimes.

In response, then life sciences minister George Freeman said: "We are working with suppliers, including Microsoft, to help health and care organisations update their systems and make sure they are safe to use and store data".

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Furthermore, the latest ransomware attack - believed to have come from a flaw in Microsoft's Windows software that the the US National Security Agency used to build a hacking tool for its own use - highlights the need for health services to introduce a comprehensive back-up plan and recovery processes in the event of a cyber-security breach.

Smith said that Friday's attack demonstrated how cyber security was becoming a shared responsibility between customer and supplier.

NHS Digital said it had made health trusts aware last month of IT protection that could have prevented the damage.

It said in a statement: "NHS Digital issued a targeted update on a secure portal accessible to NHS staff on April 25, and then via a bulletin to more than 10,000 security and IT professionals on April 27 to alert them to this specific issue. This guidance was also reissued on Friday following emergence of this issue".

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