HACKERS could cripple the NHS again unless it gets its act together, a watchdog warns.
A damning report reveals basic IT measures would have prevented the unsophisticated cyber attack that paralysed a third of hospitals in May.
NHS is not prepared for another attack, says watchdog
The National Audit Office said it caused nearly 20,000 ops and appointments to be cancelled and closed five A&Es.
The malware infected computers at 81 health trusts and nearly 600 GP surgeries across England. All were running outdated computer systems that were not protected.
NAO chief Sir Amyas Morse said: “The WannaCry attack was relatively unsophisticated. There are more sophisticated cyber threats out there so the Department of Health and the NHS need to get their act together to ensure the NHS is better protected against future attacks.”
The watchdog said IT bosses at the NHS had issued “critical” alerts about WannaCry in the months before the attack. But they had no way of checking if hospitals had taken action.
Meg Hillier suggests that NHS could have prevented the last attack if they had better computer software across its hospitals and GP surgeries
The Wannacry hack in May led to the cancellation of 20,000 appointments across the United Kingdom
Meg Hillier, of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, said: “The NHS could have fended off this attack if it had taken simple steps.
“Instead patients and NHS staff suffered widespread disruption.”
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