Critical NHS cyber security checks suspended due to coronavirus response

NHSX grants six-month extension to complete annual surveys as resources are channeled into handling the virus outbreak

NHS Trusts have been granted a six-month delay to completing crucial cyber security resilience checks while resources are rechanneled into handling the coronavirus outbreak.

The health service's recently established digital transformation body NHSX has given organisations a reprieve to complete their annual cyber security checklists so it doesn’t interfere with the healthcare service's COVID-19 response plans.

Health and care organisations are expected to submit a data security and protection toolkit (DSPT) each year to ensure their systems and databases are hack-proof. It’s especially important given how frequent attacks against healthcare organisations have become

DSPTs were originally meant to be completed by the end of the month, but organisations now have until 30 September 2020 to complete their DSPT checklists. They are, however, welcome to complete these beforehand, at which point they’ll be awarded ‘Standards Met’ status as normal.

This has given organisations the space to commit additional resources to clinical response to coronavirus, and away from completing the checklist, if need-be.

“It is critically important that the NHS and Social Care remains resilient to cyber attacks during this period of COVID-19 response,” NHSX has told health and care organisations. 

“Whilst the DSPT submission deadline is being relaxed to account for COVID-19, the cyber security risk remains high. All organisations must continue to maintain their patching regimes.”

The cyber threat facing the NHS, and other organisations, has never been greater. Any attacks launched against Trusts over the next few months, in the mould of the infamous WannaCry attack of 2017 for instance, could result in significant patient harm with services and systems already stretched.

Hackers have already started exploiting the outbreak to further their malicious aims, according to Reuters, with attackers posing as the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in order to launch phishing attempts, for instance.

Two of the most widely-used trojans against healthcare organisations in 2019 were Emotet and TrickBot. All eyes will be on cyber attackers over the next few months, to determine whether or not they’ll continue to launch attacks against healthcare organisations struggling to grapple with the coronavirus outbreak. 

Featured Resources

Key considerations for implementing secure telework at scale

Identifying the security risks and advanced requirements of a remote workforce

Download now

The State of Salesforce 2020

Your guide to getting the most from Salesforce

Download now

Fast, flexible and compliant e-signatures for global businesses

Be at the forefront of digital transformation with electronic signatures

Download now

Rethink your cybersecurity strategy for the new world

5 steps to secure the enterprise and be fit for a flexible future

Download now

Recommended

England starts trial of new COVID-19 contact-tracing app
application programming interface (API)

England starts trial of new COVID-19 contact-tracing app

13 Aug 2020
Coronavirus boosted the tech industry’s fortunes – will the recession undo it?
Business operations

Coronavirus boosted the tech industry’s fortunes – will the recession undo it?

12 Aug 2020
NHS flooded with 40,000 spam emails during coronavirus crisis
phishing

NHS flooded with 40,000 spam emails during coronavirus crisis

12 Aug 2020
The future tech helping battle the pandemic
Technology

The future tech helping battle the pandemic

11 Aug 2020

Most Popular

How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

3 Aug 2020
How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi
Mobile

How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi

4 Aug 2020
How to move Windows 10 from your old hard drive to SSD
operating systems

How to move Windows 10 from your old hard drive to SSD

3 Aug 2020