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More than a million NHS computers haven’t yet upgraded to Windows 10, leaving patient data at risk.

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With less than 6 months to go before Windows 7 support expires [1], it comes as a surprise to many MPs that the majority of computers belonging to the NHS are still currently using Windows 7 as their operating system.

According to a written statement from the Department of Health and Social Care, just over one million computers in the NHS are still using Windows 7. This operating system will lose vital support starting January 14, 2020, which means it will start to become vulnerable to any new flaws and holes.

This could cause costly issues for the NHS, especially if their computers are left more vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Back in 2017, WannaCry attacks on unpatched computers disrupted NHS systems and led to almost 20,000 appointments being cancelled [2], with the total cost to the NHS estimated to be around £92 million [3].

Some MPs clearly see this as a worry, for example: Jo Platt MP, shadow cabinet office minister, says: “With less than six months before Windows 7 support expires, it is deeply concerning that over a million NHS computers, over three quarters of the total NHS IT estate, are still using this operating system.” [1]

However, MP Jacqueline Doyle-Price reassures that a migration process to Windows 10 is under way: “All NHS organisations, with the exception of one which had already upgraded to Windows 10, have signed up to receive Windows 10 licences and Advanced Threat Protection. Deployment of Windows 10 is going well and in line with target to make sure the NHS is operating on supported software when Windows 7 goes out of support in 2020.” [1]

What could be more worrying is that a minority of machines were still running Windows XP, an operating system that lost support as many as five years ago. [4]

In conclusion, three quarters of all NHS computers are still running Windows 7 or earlier operating systems. This is likely to become incredibly problematic to patient data if this is still the case 6 months from now.

If your business is still running Windows 7, please contact SCS Technology today.  Please don’t leave it until the last minute. Here at SCS Technology we are Microsoft Gold partners and available to support your business’s IT needs.  Please give us a call on 01522 883636 and we’ll do all we can to assist you.

 

Sources 

[1] https://www.itproportal.com/news/most-nhs-computers-still-havent-switched-to-windows-10/

[2] https://www.zdnet.com/article/wannacry-ransomware-crisis-one-year-on-are-we-ready-for-the-next-global-cyber-attack/

[3] https://www.zdnet.com/article/this-is-how-much-the-wannacry-ransomware-attack-cost-the-nhs/

[4] https://www.zdnet.com/article/windows-7-timebomb-with-less-than-six-months-until-support-ends-76-of-nhs-computers-not-yet-on-windows-10/

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