THE NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE (NHS) has 'fessed that it's still using more than 2,000 PCs running Microsoft's long-defunct Windows XP OS.
Following 2017's WannaCry attack - which led to the cancellation of an estimated 19,000 appointments and cost £92m to clean-up - the NHS admitted that it ran Windows XP on 4.7 per cent of machines, despite Microsoft ceasing support for the OS - kind of, at least - back in 2014.
While at the time it was coy on upgrade plans, the Department of Health and Social Care last year announced a £150m plan to upgrade all NHS systems to Windows 10 by 14 January 2020 - the date at which support for Windows 7 ends.
However, in response to a written parliamentary question from shadow Cabinet Office minister Jo Platt, the government this week revealed that, despite being six months away from that target, 2,300 NHS computers are still running Windows XP.
Jackie Doyle-Price, minister for mental health, inequalities, and suicide prevention, said that the XP machines accounted for 0.16 per cent of the NHS's total estate of 1.4 million devices.
"We are supporting NHS organisations to upgrade their existing Microsoft Windows operating systems, allowing them to reduce potential vulnerabilities and increase cyber-resilience," she said.
Platt said the continued presence of XP - which was released back in 2001 - is "an indictment of this government's cybersecurity record."
"The government is seriously lacking the leadership, strategy and co-ordination we need across the public sector to keep us and our data safe and secure. How many more warnings will it take before they listen and take action?" she said.
"The next Labour government will provide not only the resourcing but also the vital leadership, organisation and dedication needed to get our public sector fit and resilient to fight the cyber threats of the 21st century." µ
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