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

A padlock against a golden background to represent cyber security

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

The definitive guide to warehouse efficiency

Get your free guide to creating efficiencies in the warehouse

Free download

The total economic impact™ of Datto

Cost savings and business benefits of using Datto Integrated Solutions

Download now

Three-step guide to modern customer experience

Support the critical role CX plays in your business

Free download

Ransomware report

The global state of the channel

Download now

Recommended

Phishing emails target victims with fake vaccine passport offer
cyber crime

Phishing emails target victims with fake vaccine passport offer

21 Sep 2021
Oracle teams with Oxford University for rapid detection of COVID-19 variants
data processing

Oracle teams with Oxford University for rapid detection of COVID-19 variants

20 Sep 2021
The IT Pro Podcast: Digital stagnation in a post-COVID world
digital transformation

The IT Pro Podcast: Digital stagnation in a post-COVID world

27 Aug 2021
Podcast transcript: Digital stagnation in a post-COVID world
digital transformation

Podcast transcript: Digital stagnation in a post-COVID world

27 Aug 2021

Most Popular

How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

17 Sep 2021
What are the pros and cons of AI?
machine learning

What are the pros and cons of AI?

8 Sep 2021
Best MDM solutions 2020
mobile device management (MDM)

Best MDM solutions 2020

17 Sep 2021