THE WANNACRY RANSOMWARE ATTACK cost the already cash-strapped NHS almost £100m, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) estimates.
Until now, the financial damage caused by the sweeping cyber attack - which it's now been revealed affected 8 per cent of GP clinics and forced the NHS to cancel 19,000 appointments - has been unclear, but the DHSC estimates in a new report that the total figure cost in at £92m.
WannaCry cost approximately £19 in lost output, while a whopping £73m was racked up in IT costs in the aftermath of the attack, according to the report. Some £72m was spent on restoring systems and data in the weeks after the attack struck.
"We recognise that at the time of the attack the focus would have been on patient care rather than working out what WannaCry was costing the NHS," the report says.
"However, an understanding of the financial impact on the NHS is also important to assess the seriousness of the attack and likely to be relevant to informing future investment decisions in cybersecurity."
Following the attack, the NHS has pledged to bite the bullet and upgrade all of its systems to Windows 10 after it was found that the service's outdated, and unpatched Windows XP and Windows 7 systems were largely to blame.
It has also so far spent £60m to bolster its security defences since WannaCry stuck, and said it plans to spend a further £150m more over the next three years.
The NHS has increased infrastructure investment of £60m this year to the most vulnerable services, such as major trauma centres and ambulance services, and UK gov has committed £150m to upgrade NHS technology systems over the next three years.
This will include a £21m upgrade to upgrade firewalls network infrastructure at major trauma centre hospitals and ambulance trusts, £39m to address infrastructure weaknesses, and a new text messaging alert system to ensure trusts have access to accurate information. µ
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