Monday, 13 December 2021

Emails cause another cyber-security nightmare - the Irish Health Service was "crippled" by ransomware introduced by email

In another example of why emails are not secure, the investigation into the ransomware that "crippled" the Irish Health Service has found that the problem was introduced by an infected email.

A screenshot of the conversation where the hackers demanded nearly $20m ransom 

The report, commissioned by the HSE from PwC, identified the “frail” nature of the dispersed IT system used by the health service as a key weakness and recommended a multi-year programme of investment in IT and cybersecurity.

There was a “known low level of cybersecurity maturity” within the HSE and the connected national health network, and this weakness had “persisted”, the report said.

An extra €100 million is to be spent on this issue next year, Mr Reid said, and a business case for an as-yet-uncosted multi-year investment programme is being worked on.

The impact of the ransomware wasn't primarily financial in this case, it affected the treatment plans for individual patients and caused a huge amount of concern, delay and worry.  Read for more information about the impact.

This is an extreme but very real example of the danger of ransomware.  Alpha Legal protects organisations by providing an easy-to-use, safe and secure method of requesting information from clients, sharing documents and electronic signing documents.

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