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Nearly 20,000 Computers of Welsh NHS are Exposed to Malware

Walesonline.co.uk reported on 7th August, 2015 stating that there are doubts of 20,000 computers employed by the Welsh NHS (National Health Service) have outdated software making them susceptible to computer viruses, Trojans and other malicious threats.

Plaid Cymru, a social-democratic political party in Wales supporting for an independent Wales from the United Kingdom within the European Union, claimed that these desktops and laptops are running a dated Windows XP OS that was originally published in 2001.

Operating systems usually are protected from security risks through updates but Microsoft terminated its support for the operating system in 2014.

The party suspects that computers could hence be exposed to malware and other vulnerabilities.

Health bodies collected figures by requesting via Freedom of Information Act in June and July, and asserted that the figures are outdated.

The National Infrastructure Management Board states that the OS is used as one layer of security and there is a clear program to substitute Windows XP.

Plaid claimed that around 19,282 systems across the Welsh NHS employ Windows XP.

Partyof.wales published news on 7th August, 2015 quoting Elin Jones, Shadow Health Minister of Plaid Cymru, as saying "These figures highlight just how much work remains to be completed to ensure NHS makes best use of the technology. Though all health boards have policies in-place to upgrade their systems, the figures showcase that in several health boards, security matters caused by persistent use of Windows XP have just not been taken seriously.

This reveals the wider laziness in utilizing modern technology and telemedicine which is frequently preventing patients in some areas from receiving the best possible treatment and being required to make pointless journeys to specialist centers. The figures also tell that some health boards have stepped forward in upgrading their computers and therefore I wish to know why others are not learning from their approach. Plaid Cymru wants to create a digital, modern and paperless NHS where employees can use the most sophisticated technology to benefit patients to guarantee best results. The use of telemedicine in Scotland has been ground-breaking which has benefited patients and condensed costs through the avoidance of admissions in hospital."

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