Barts Health, which is responsible for five hospitals and 2.5 million patients in East London, suffered from the IT attack on Friday and consequently took “a number of drives offline” as a precaution.

It made a statement claiming, “Importantly, we can now rule out ransomware as the root cause. We have also established that in addition to the Trust’s core clinical system Cerner Millennium, Radiology and Imaging from X-rays and scans continue to be used as normal. We have tried and tested contingency plans in place and are making every effort to ensure that patient care will not be affected.” Despite these plans, the Trust’s pathology services were forced offline by the attack.

Reports suggest that Barts Health is currently running the unsupported Windows XP operating system. If true, this puts the Trust at risk of cyber-attacks designed to exploit flaws that Microsoft is no longer issuing patches for.

The NHS needs to invest its resources into solutions that will spot and stop these kinds of attacks that are not only disrupting business operations but more importantly, interfering with patient care. Without tools like Intelligent Threat Based Change Control, these organizations will continue to fall victim.

Mark Kedgley, CTO, New Net Technology comments, “if an organization wants to maintain security and minimize the financial fallout of these attacks, the emphasis has to change. Accept it- the chances of stopping all breaches are unlikely at best with a prevention-only approach. Instead, with non-stop, continuous visibility of what is going on in the IT estate, an organization can at least spot the unusual changes that may represent a breach in real time and take action before it’s too late.”


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