Tory Cuts Questioned as the NHS Gets Hit by Ransomware

Published by Chris Oestereich on

Ransomware, nhs, Brexit

Image: Marco Verch

The UK’s NHS got caught up in the major ransomware attack that hit computers around the world yesterday. In the wake of the attack, the Mirror is reporting that the Tories cut computer security funding from the NHS a year ago, despite being warned that doing so would leave thousands of government computers (and thus hospitals) vulnerable to cyber attacks. Tory Health Secretary Jerry Hunt is under fire for the decision and LBC’s Maajid Nawaz suggested that the act might even constitute criminal negligence.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd claimed that significant funding had been made for cyber security, but Guardian tech commentator Charles Arthur would have none of that. As he put it, “Amber Rudd can burble as much as she wants, but the £1bn put into the National Cyber Security Centre is a fraction of the amount needed to upgrade the NHS’s IT systems. The next government should acknowledge that fact.”

I’m happy to see that the immediate response is to go after the cause and not the effect. (A reaction that’s seemingly been in short supply in recent years.) We’ll see if that translates into a positive shift in the polls.