Locking out cyber crime

Your practice premises may be secured with double-locks and a burglar alarm, but that is not the only way that criminals can get to you. In the third and last of his articles on technology for independent practice, Healthcode’s Peter Connor looks at cyber threats and explains why the stakes have never been higher.

technology digital future abstract, cyber security concept background, keyhole lock circuit, vector illustration.

In January 2017, the largest NHS trust in England was forced to shut down some of its IT systems for several days, including its pathology and file-sharing systems.

Barts Health Trust had become the latest high-profile victim of a cyber-attack which left it scrambling to tackle the cause of the infection and ensure patient data was not compromised.

The attack on Barts highlights a sinister and growing threat to all healthcare providers. Only three months before, Northern Lincoln­shire and Goole Found­ation NHS Trust was hit by a ransomware attack – where files are locked until a ransom is paid – which effectively shut down its IT systems for four days and led to the cancellation of 2,800 appointments.