Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

What's Next for Cyber Criminals?

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

What's Next for Cyber Criminals?

Article excerpt

I AM Afraid that the recent cyber-attack on the NHS is a sign of things to come. It should serve as a warning as to the risk of the inevitable.

The extent that we are digitally reliant and connected and the path we are on needs to be fully appreciated. Whilst not yet widely introduced, computer software can now correctly diagnose an illness 90% of the time, compared to 70% for a doctor.

Some Facebook software is significantly better at recognising faces than any human could ever be.

Artificial Intelligence, self-driving cars, or even transport drones that you summon with the supercomputer in your pocket are all just a few years away.

All of this is a progression that you would expect in a rapidly advancing digital world. But we can expect that there will always be those that have an alternative agenda who seek to do harm for whatever reason.

The current round of ransomware could be fuelled by greed, ego or, designed to de-stabilise economies. It may have been instigated by a rogue state, a criminal outfit, or a very clever, but not so intelligent teenager. Either way, we can expect more of the same and a lot worse in the future.

Its too soon to have had the first autonomous vehicle murder but that could come. Tampering with power systems and ransoming governments are all inevitable and will need to tackled. Businesses and livelihoods will be destroyed.

I think it's clear that had NHS systems been up to date the impact would have been minimal. I understand that some of these systems were running on Windows XP and even those running on later operating systems hadn't installed recent security updates.

Obviously if the NHS had a limitless budget they could be employing endless IT staff and funding Microsoft to the extent that they demand.

But that's not the case and even then, there is still a risk that future attacks would not be prevented.

Whilst as a business, we at Lowes Financial Management do not have a limitless budget, we have invested very heavily in ensuring that we have up to date systems and software. …

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