SecurityBrief Asia logo
Asia's leading source of cybersecurity and cyber-attack news
Story image

Damning report finds despite WannaCry attack, NHS still not patching

FYI, this story is more than a year old

It would seem despite the massive WannaCry attack that occurred almost exactly a year ago, the United Kindgom's National Health Service (NHS) still has not learnt its lesson.

A damning government report has emerged that reveals the true state of affairs. The NHS recently assessed the cybersecurity level of 200 trusts and shockingly, every single trust failed the cybersecurity test - in some cases because they had failed to apply crucial patches to their systems, which is the what opened the doors to the WannaCry attack in the first place.

However, the report stated that the Department for Health (DfH) and NHS Digital stressed that the trusts failed the assessments not because they had not done anything on cybersecurity, but rather because the Cyber Essentials Plus standard on which they are tested against is a high bar.

No matter what they say however, it is still extremely concerning that some of the trusts STILL are not applying critical patches.

The report found that around 80 of England's 236 NHS trusts were infected by the ransomware in addition to more than 600 more NHS organisations such as GP practices.

The attack was declared a “major incident” by the NHS and resulted in the cancellation of almost 20,000 operations and hospital appointments. Despite this, the DfH has no indication of how much money WannaCry cost the NHS, stating that its focus at the time was on caring for patients.

There were several other concerning facts that came from the report, including the fact that despite the DfH, NHS England and NHS Improvement publishing 22 recommendations for improving the NHS' cybersecurity back in February, plans for implementation are yet to be agreed upon and the DfH has no idea when it will happen or how much it will cost.

The issue is that many local bodies are unable to apply patches and updates to IT systems without disrupting patient care given many are interdependent on each other.

There have been some progress though, with the DfH investing nearly £200 million since the WannaCry attack in various improvements to cybersecurity up to 2020, including more support resources for vulnerable organisations, improvements to local infrastructure and addressing major security gaps in major trauma centres and ambulance trusts.

Cybereason intelligence services senior director Ross Rustici says cybersecurity is not a bolt-on after the fact, or a wound to be triaged, but rather it should be foundational.

“If the NHS or any other government entity viewed cybersecurity as fundamental to their operations as the ability to assure the physical safety of the public or patients in NHS's case, then the NHS would never have suffered from WannaCry to begin with because it would have used the ample time it had to adequately patch their network,” says Rustici.

“The failures of the NHS to implement the cybersecurity recommendations are not a new struggle nor are they limited to the NHS. Government entities at the national and local level have a complex set of challenges often under conditions of shrinking budgets. An increased spend on cybersecurity often necessitates a reduction of spending in an area that is seen as providing primary services.”

Rustici says despite this stark reality, it demonstrates a failure in institutions to keep up with the current reality they face, and this security spending gap will never be addressed until cybersecurity is viewed as a fundamental necessity when new buildings, institutions, and services are being rolled out.

“It is far easier and cheaper to keep a network healthy than it is to recover and strengthen a network after it has been severely compromised. The UK is now in the position of either having to allocate a lot of new funding to get NHS back to a steady state of healthy or accept the inherent risk of having a weakened security posture in an increasingly hostile environment,” concludes Rustici.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Malware
Black Lotus Labs discovers new, multipurpose malware
Black Lotus Labs, the threat intelligence team at Lumen, has discovered a new, rapidly growing, multipurpose malware written in the Go programming language.
Story image
Distributed Denial of Service
Sysdig reveals a loss of $53 for every $1 cryptojackers gain
The 2022 Sysdig Cloud Native Threat Report breaks down supply chain attacks against containers and how geopolitical conflict influences attacker behaviours.
Story image
Firewall
Barracuda accelerates growth in its data protection business
Barracuda cloud-to-cloud backup protects against evolving cyber threats, such as ransomware, and is now transactable in the Azure Marketplace.
Story image
Apple
Jamf shows intent to acquire mobile security firm ZecOps
This acquisition positions Jamf to help IT and security teams strengthen their organisation’s mobile security posture.
Story image
Work from home
Jamf showcases new products to simplify and secure work
At the 13th annual Jamf Nation User Conference, the company shared how its continuous product innovation is helping organisations succeed with Apple.
Story image
Network Management
Fortinet introduces enhanced AIOps across its gateways
FortiAIOps builds on Fortinet's rich history of developing artificial intelligence to deliver actionable network insights for self-optimising management.
Story image
Kaspersky
Cybersecurity loopholes prevalent in South East Asia
In terms of the share of vulnerabilities with publicly available exploits, three countries out of top five are located in Southeast Asia.
Story image
Cloud
How modern IT architectures are moving beyond network visibility
Dealing with multiple cloud providers makes it difficult to identify security threats and performance bottlenecks and troubleshoot issues.
Story image
Software-as-a-Service
Enterprises yet to fully commit to cybersecurity - CompTIA
“Digital transformation driven by cloud and mobile adoption requires a new strategic approach to cybersecurity, but this poses significant challenges."
Story image
Phishing
Vectra Protect team finds Microsoft Teams vulnerability
The Vectra Protect team identified a post-exploitation opportunity in August, allowing malicious actors to steal valid user credentials from Microsoft Teams.
Story image
Ransomware
Commvault unveils early warning system, Metallic ThreatWise
A first among data protection vendors, the new cyber deception service detects and contains ransomware threats.
Story image
Virtual Private Network
95% of organisation rely on VPN as threats continue - report
There is a growing number of VPN-specific security threats and a need for Zero Trust security architecture in enterprise-level organisations.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Employees unsure who to go to to report security incident
A new study shows more than 20% of the untrained global workforce do not know who to contact during a security breach.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Kaspersky updates endpoint detection and response solution
"One of the goals was to make all the solutions capabilities accessible for all types of our users, even those who are making their first steps in EDR."
Story image
Data Protection
Cloudflare brings Data Localisation Suite to more APAC businesses
This allows any business in these countries to service their data locally while benefiting from the speed, security, and scalability of Cloudflare’s global network.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Test your API Security with Infinite API Scanner
The effectiveness of API scanning technology can mean the difference between successful and unsuccessful programming outcomes, and often enterprises and IT leaders struggle to get it right.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Macroeconomic headwinds driving security up priority list
Current macroeconomic headwinds are driving security up enterprise’s priority list and reshaping the hardware Security Module market.
Story image
Threat intelligence
Trellix advances threat intelligence with new research centre
Trellix has announced the establishment of the Trellix Advanced Research Center to advance global threat intelligence.
Story image
Enterprise
Delinea shares the importance of PAM, partners and security for modern enterprise
Identity-based security is becoming a crucial tool for modern enterprises as they continue to adapt to different working environments.
Story image
Legacy
Trellix enables greater cyber resiliency with extended XDR platform
"Legacy SIEM technology has failed to modernise security operations. We are confident Trellix XDR fills this critical gap.”
Story image
Cybersecurity
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from SearchInform
Val Novoselova joins us today to to discuss new trends in the information security space, and how SearchInform is adapting to some of the new trends we are seeing.
Story image
Cybersecurity
De-risking the innovation cycle – a modern, real-time approach to security
Many organisations see cybersecurity as an inhibitor of innovation, with burdensome protection measures standing in the way of progress and speed.
Story image
Malware
SonicWall threat report mid-year update highlights significant threat variance
The 2022 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report mid-year update from SonicWall gives an in-depth insight into many of the current trends across the threat landscape.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Ransomware attacks continue to increase, report finds
Nearly a quarter of businesses have suffered a ransomware attack, with a fifth occurring in the past 12 months.
Story image
Cybersecurity
StackHawk launches deeper API security test coverage
Expansion of test coverage includes custom scan discovery, custom test scripts and custom test data for REST APIs.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
Hybrid cloud security driving need for deep observability
Gigamon is bringing application and network-level intelligence together to help network, security, and cloud IT operations teams eliminate security blind spots.
AWS Marketplace
Whitepaper: A practical guide for mitigating risk in today’s modern applications
Link image
Story image
Malware
Kaspersky uncovers new malicious malware NullMixer
Kaspersky researchers have uncovered a new malware stealing users credentials, address, credit card data, cryptocurrencies, and accounts.
Story image
Malware
Cybereason delivers nation-state level of protection to enterprises
Cybereason has announced new advancements in Cybereason NGAV that deliver nation-state level protection for organisations of all sizes.
Story image
Secure Code Warrior
Secure Code Warrior announces Coding Labs innovation
Coding Labs mechanisms allow developers to move from learning to applying secure coding knowledge more efficiently, leading to fewer code vulnerabilities.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Ordr improves security and management of connected devices
It has implemented more than 80 integrations within the Ordr Data Lake while adding security enhancements to accelerate zero trust segmentation.
Story image
Software-as-a-Service
Varonis adds secrets discovery to data classification
The data security firm announces enhancements that detect and remediate overexposed private keys, encryption certificates, API keys, and authentication tokens.
Story image
Ransomware
Delinea updates DevOps security, remote access more seamless
New enhancements include development support on the most recent Mac computers and improved secrets' management usability through automation.
Story image
IT Training
Six ways to transform your cybersecurity training and influence lasting change
If the goal is to win hearts and minds, formal awareness training can fall short and often doesn’t inspire people to care.
Story image
Mobile Device Management
How to easily scale your mobile workforce and devices for the peak shopping season
Retailers are under constant pressure to streamline processes and become more efficient while looking for ways to improve customer satisfaction levels.
Aws Marketplace
Learn how to implement a backup and recovery plan for a new generation of Kubernetes-based modern applications
Link image
Story image
Edge Security
Security practices for modernising the “spaghetti” of on-premises IT
Many organisations are wondering how to securely modernise their workload, often made up of a “spaghetti” of on-premises applications and management consoles.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Best practices for industrial cyber resilience
Operational technology (OT) security is gaining more attention than ever before, but sufficient understanding of what it takes to prevent breaches is still lacking amongst many organisations.
Story image
Cloud Security
75% of AU companies had cloud security incident in past year
According to new Venafi research, complexity is due to increase, as companies plan to host more applications in the cloud.
Story image
Malware
Decrease in malware volume, but surge in encrypted malware
The Q2 Internet Security Report found office exploits continue to spread more than any other category of malware.