NHS Organizations and Other Sectors Hit in Global Cyber Attack

Media Division | May 12, 2017

Many cyber attacks tend to be isolated incidents that may only affect a single organization or a certain branch of a corporation.  Though, others can be much more wide scale and affect a range of various organizations, or several locations of a business.  This can even go to the extent of hitting a network of organizations across a nation, which is the case in a recent widespread cyber attack. In this event, a cyber attack that appeared to have begun at National Health Service (NHS) locations across the UK has now to spread to organizations around the globe.

The Effects Upon Various NHS Locations

NHS computer systems across the UK were simultaneously hit by a ransomware attack, which left them locked out of their systems.  The attack locked staff out of internal email and phone systems, as well as information like appointment schedules and patient records, and required emergency patients to be diverted elsewhere. According to NHS Digital, the attack does not appear to have been targeted specifically at NHS organizations but is rather affecting various sectors.  They also said that they are working in conjunction with NHS England, the Department of Health, and the National Cyber Security Centre to support and mitigate the situation.  British law enforcement has said that the attack appears to have been criminal in nature, rather than nation-state related. The ransomware used is believed to have been a strain of Wanna Decryptor, and reports have said that a ransom of $300 in bitcoin was demanded for the return of the data.  Fortunately, there does not appear to be any evidence of access to patient data.  The NHS has not been able to give a full list of affected locations, but it has included Bart’s Health in London, Blackpool teaching hospital, East, and West Hertfordshire trust, and many others.

The Global Scale of the Ransomware Attack

As mentioned above, this attack also appears to have affected other organizations around the globe.  Police forces in Russia, as well as telecom services in Spain, have also been hit by similar ransomware events.  A map of areas affected with WannaCry on Malware Tech’s website shows locations in every single continent, though the most heavily affected continents seem to be the Europe, the United States, and Eastern Asia.

The Necessity of Formidable Cyber Security to Prevent Cyber Attacks

An attack of this scale shows the malicious potential of ransomware.  In fact, ransomware is one of the most heavily employed types of cyber attacks, and it even resulted in organization’s being extorted for around 1 billion dollars last year. With the innumerable strains of ransomware and other threats lurking in cyberspace, organization’s need to ensure that their systems and networks are secure enough to prevent cyber attacks.  Cyber attacks are much more prominent than they have ever been, and lacking cyber security is now essentially the equivalent of a bank leaving their doors unlocked.  Even smaller organizations are in danger of potential attacks, and in fact are even targeted heavily because of their often lacking security.  It is no longer a matter of simple firewalls and antivirus and then hoping or thinking you will not be attacked.  It is now a necessity that organizations have comprehensive security implements in place.  Massive Alliance offers an array of services that can help to ensure that an organization’s security is able to prevent cyber attacks.

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