Wednesday, 5 March 2014

The NHS has 1 million PC's still running Windows XP

Whitehall is doing a deal with Microsoft to prevent thousands of NHS computers from falling victim to hackers targeting Windows XP from April.

The government and Microsoft are in talks to offer extended security support to NHS PCs still running Windows XP that miss an 8 April deadline.

we presume bespoke extended support wont come cheap.

The NHS in England alone has 1.086 million PCs and laptops running Windows XP at trusts, GPs and other health groups.

The National Health Service in Scotland will be contending with 3,603.

That means there will be no more software updates and patches from Microsoft for new security vulnerabilities or holes discovered in Windows XP after that date.

Got XP??? well it time to upgrade...

PCs at hospitals, GPs and trusts across Great Britain will miss the early April deadline and therefore be wide open to attack.

That means sensitive patient data and the secure login credentials of millions of NHS staff will be sitting ducks for those writing malware designed to steal data.

The PCs themselves as well as NHS computer networks will also be vulnerable to virus writes and those intent on simply infecting and disabling Windows XP PCs.

Factors holding back the NHS include the fact that many critical apps had not been updated to work with Windows XP’s successor, Windows 7, until last year. Such apps included the Patient Administration System and Choose and Book, a browser-based app that could only work with the Windows XP browser.

Another factor is the existence of custom apps in HR and patient record systems built for Windows XP that must also be updated for Windows 7. It is likely that many of these have not been updated.
Also adding delay is the fact that NHS IT teams are not just looking after operating systems but large numbers of apps: one NHS trust with 6,000 PCs told us it has whittled 1,300 apps down to 100 as part of its Windows XP migration work to Windows 7.

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