‘High risk’ of cyber attack for St Helens CCG

A new report has claimed that healthcare services in St Helens face a ‘high risk’ of threat from cyber attacks, as the CCG looks to strengthen its cyber resilience.

St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group discussed the report at its recent governing body meeting, which says that the borough’s health services need to better protect its IT systems.

The report also says that a dedicated Health Informatics Service cyber response plans was successfully tested during the WannaCry ransomware attack last May.

The CCG report said: “The IT systems run by the HIS (Health Informatics Service) are coming under increased risk regarding service disruption as a result of potential cyber security attacks. A successful cyber attack could result in the loss of data or system outage (including primary, secondary and community systems as well as local CCG IT systems) resulting in significant service disruption, harm to patients and financial loss.

“The cyber security incident in May 2017 did not directly infect the Health Informatics Service (HIS) provided by St Helens and Knowsley Hospital Trust. Therefore, CCG systems were not adversely affected, however the HIS had to take immediate action which resulted in some local service disruption. Through national work and from the approach of the HIS, the CCG can now accurately assess impact of potential future threats and has a clear strategy and approach to minimise potential threats and disruption.”

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