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NHS in Cumbria victim to more than 150 cyberattacks in five years

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  • A Freedom Of Information (FOI) request by BBC News showed that the healthcare trust present in Cumbria was attacked more than 150 times by cybercriminals.
  • The trust said that it spent £29,600 in 2017 in the aftermath of these cyber attacks.

It appears that the NHS trust in Cumbria, UK has become a major target for cybercriminals in recent years.

According to a Freedom Of Information(FOI) report obtained by BBC News, it showed that the institution was subject to more than 150 cyber attacks in the past five years. Specifically, 147 attacks were directed at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust (UHMBT).

These high numbers indicated that the trust was active in terms of incident reporting. Lee Coward, Head of IT at UHMBT told that the Cumbria NHS has a ‘rigorous’ reporting process and made it possible to report higher volumes of identified cyber 'attacks' than other organizations.

Coward also mentioned that a significant amount of money had been spent on resources to keep IT systems safe.

Attacks dubbed 'extraordinary'

Iain Stainton, Senior Lecturer for Policing and Criminology at the University of Cumbria, expressed that the attacks were ‘extraordinary’. Stainton also emphasized the fact that the National Cyber Security Centre had an average of 10 attacks per week in the UK.

Earlier, the NHS has been criticized for its lackluster attempt to invest more in cybersecurity. It was found that as little as £250 was spent last year.

“The average spend on data security training across 159 Trusts surveyed was £5,356 in the last 12 months, but this ranged widely from between £238 and £78,000 with no correlation to the size of Trust, or its location,” found another FOI.

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