Sunday, 14 May 2017

Cyber Attack: Why use Windows anyway.?

Why the Welsh NHS  was not affected by the Cyber Attack yesterday is not clear
A Welsh Government spokesman said NHS Wales had not been affected by the cyber attack but it was "monitoring the situation closely".
He added:
 "We have recently invested in upgrading IT to protect potentially vulnerable front-line NHS Wales systems.
"We have also introduced a national standard for IT security for all GP surgeries in Wales."

However as a regular  patient to more than one Welsh NHS clinic , i have been amazed that they were are 
So were we  in Wales saved by astute protection or were lucky that this did not appear in Hospitals throughout Wales?

Cyber attack on NHS England

AS Another Angry Voice points out 

The Tories had seven years warning that Microsoft would be turning off security updates on the outdated Windows XP system, however it's been estimated that some 90% of NHS hospitals are still using this outdated operating system.
In 2014 there was the option of a rolling one-year renewal of the protection for  NHS systems still using XP but the Tories turned it down in order to save a paltry £5.5 million. As a result the NHS is facing an enormous bill to recover the damage caused by this ransomware attack. 
The Tory government sat on their hands and did virtually nothing, leaving the NHS extremely vulnerable to this attack, yet the majority of the press are playing this story as if it's "just one of those things" and refusing to subject Amber Rudd's comments to the critical scrutiny they so thoroughly deserve.

For many using the previous Windows 7 PCs and Windows 8.1  version Windows 10 was offered as Free upgrade for a period but this did not include XP and many waited anyway to make sure  any bugs were discovered before upgrading and now costs  £119.99 incl. VAT

Below id the Timeline for Windows operating system as you can see newer versions  are becoming more frequent with the next appearing om 2020

An image that visualizes the tables below

But why are government agencies using Windows anyway.

The  Linux operating system is free to users . Why doesn't the government use this.

It mlargely Virus resistant  but  this may be due to its low uptake and hackers can't be bothered  to attack it.

However surely the Welsh government for instance could come up with an arrangement that  they contribute to Linux development financially . whilst using the surplus  to create Cyber defences.

Indeed why can't we have a unique Linux system tweaked for NHS use for example.

I honestly don't know whether this is possible or if it could provide better protection fro hackers or if it would eventually prove a financial benifit.

All i;m saying is why not consider it? 



3 comments:

  1. As a linux user I have to agree with you. The governments of a number of Spanish autonomous communities have switched their government and educational systems wholly to Linux and have saved millions - as well as supporting a local software industry. They have produced localised versions with programs tailor made and using local languages. Linux is more secure by design than Windows.

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    1. Thanks Cibwr. I was hoping that you would contribute. Perhaps someone with a connection to the Assembly will read this and push it further?

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  2. I have a feeling that they are tied into long term exclusive contracts. Basic email and data storage systems should be on secure systems, which means on linux, specialist equipment should not be networked if it is vulnerable to hacking. Basic security needs to be a feature of the NHS and indeed any organisation. Perhaps spending a little more on basic security infrastructure would be a way of moving forwards.

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