NHS a prime target for online criminals seeking valuable data

Hackers know no boundaries when attacking systems
Hackers know no boundaries when attacking systems

MORE CYBER CRIMINALS have sought to break into the NHS Grampian computer systems more than any other Scottish health authority.

A freedom of information request has revealed that a total of 2250 attacks took place in the past year in Grampian – but none managed to break through security, although board chiefs admitted that the attacks were “constant”.

Security of patient records is a massive concern for health boards who are only too aware of high-profile attacks being undertaking on any organisations with large data holdings of personal information that could be used by cyber criminals.

One local authority has admitted under the freedom of information questioning that its systems were breached – Orkney NHS. In that instance criminals planted a virus that encrypted several internal files, then demanded payment in return for an encryption key. That was refused and instead the health board restored the information from back-ups.

The estimated cost of criminal activities online to the Scottish economy is put at around £5billion each year. One expert says that major banks had invested hundreds of millions of pounds in protecting their systems – but still breaches happen.

insideMoray security logs show that at least a dozen attempts to hack into our news service happen each day, most of them coming from eastern Europe and the far east.