We reported a few weeks ago about the US military service upgrading all their PCs to Windows 10 to improve their cybersecurity.
The next major government organization to do this appears to be the UK National Health Service, who has just budgeted £150 million to upgrade their infrastructure for the same reason.
Jeremy Hunt, Health and Social Care Secretary, commented: “We know cyber-attacks are a growing threat, so it is vital our health and care organisations have secure systems which patients trust.
“We have been building the capability of NHS systems over a number of years, but there is always more to do to future-proof our NHS against this threat. This new technology will ensure the NHS can use the latest and most resilient software available – something the public rightly expect.”
Besides upgrading to Windows 10 “with up-to-date security settings” the NHS will also set up a new digital security operations centre to respond faster to security incidents before they spread.
An additional £21 million will be spent on improved firewalls and network infrastructure at major trauma centre hospitals and ambulance trusts, and a further £39 million is earmarked for NHS Trusts to address weaknesses in their infrastructure. This will include a text messaging service which would allow services to continue to communicate even if the internet becomes unavailable.
Trusts will be required to meet a 10 point security standard including a data security toolkit.
Awareness of the vulnerability of the NHS to cyberattacks was raised by the massive WannaCry outbreak early last year which crippled many NHS trusts for a number of days, and increased tension with Russia, which is expected to eventually lead to even more severe incidents.