Glasgow and Clyde patients protected from global cyber attack

Friday 12 May will be remembered as the day that a global ransomware cyber-attack struck 74 countries.

The malware spread quickly on Friday, with NHS staff in the UK amongst the first to report the effects of the virus.

If you watched the news that day and into the following weekend you could be forgiven for thinking that the entire NHS had been brought to its knees.

Fortunately, NHSGGC was mostly unaffected and our hospitals were operating as normal, with only individual PCs in a few GP practices involved.

Out of 30,000 devices used by staff working within NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, only 22 were affected.

Our IT team worked over the weekend, safeguarding our systems and supporting neighbouring board, NHS Lanarkshire, who had more significant issues to tackle.

“Our defence against this ransomware attack was in no small measure down to the excellent preventative work we had previously carried out,” said NHSGGC IT Director William Edwards.

“I was really proud of my team and how they rose to the challenge of the global cyber attack. It truly was a great team effort over the weekend with people selflessly shelving personal plans to come into work at short notice.

“Our response was strong but we are not complacent and are continuing to work with NHS colleagues, the Scottish Government and Microsoft to ensure our systems remain as secure as they possibly can be.”

The team’s hard work did not go unnoticed either as days after the attack Canadian coffee giants Tim Horton’s brought their famous red van along to the IT offices in Paisley, treating staff to coffee and treats, days ahead of their store launch in Glasgow.

William said: “It’s great that the team got a nice treat to recognise all their hard work and commitment. I think it went down really well with the staff.”