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NHS Trusts becoming More and More Attractive for Ransomware Attackers

A request under the Freedom-of-Information privilege recently showed that a total of 87 NHS Trusts situated inside Wales, Scotland and England were targeted with ransomware assaults over a year-and-half just gone by.

However, the overall number of 260 Trusts gave their answers regarding the request. RES a digital workplace company submitted the responses of the Trusts. Another 18 asserted they wouldn't comply by the FOI request i.e. wouldn't provide the information sought because of rules regarding patient data that must be kept secured. Still 4 others either merged with another trust alternatively didn't possess the information pertinent to the request. Silicon posted this, February 2, 2017.

Unfortunately, a disturbing scenario emerges from the data regarding such attacks ongoing especially against the healthcare industry inside United Kingdom and follows likewise research conducted in January 2017 whilst 94 Trusts answered the FOI requests.

England, in particular, had 79 trusts among a total of 239 targeted with ransomware assaults during the past 12-month period, whilst in Scotland, the problem was the maximum because more than half (8) of the 14 NHS Trusts were targeted.

According to RES Chief Jason Allaway for Ireland and UK, healthcare organisations like the NHS Trusts happen to be main targets for cyber-criminals because of the kind of database they possess. Allaway continues that unlike the databases' wholly monetary worth in industry and other areas, ransomware attackers have long sought healthcare as their prime target because the data this sector possesses is vital for living and dying.

Allaway therefore says that these trusts require implementing vigilance and education in addition to proven technology which may include all-inclusive white-listing and blacklisting, context-known access regulations, read-only access, adequate back-up and automated de-provisioning -all these for the trusts to fight as also stop the problem effectively.

Cyber-criminals increasingly find the healthcare sector a lucrative target. According to one likewise report of October, ransomware assaults were highly prevalent against NHS organisations after which the biggest NHS Trust of England itself encountered one cyber-assault.

Poor IT security defenses, weak security training and obsolete software put to use are turning hospitals into attackers' easy targets thereby endangering patient data and operations.

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