Windows XP support to be withdrawn nationally

The government will withdraw Microsoft XP support from 2018, a report has said.

Following the WannaCry attacks in May, which caused disruption for some NHS departments and other organisations nationwide, the Department of Health is said to be ‘working in partnership with Microsoft’ to lower risks affiliated with unsupported software.

According to the report, there are still 4.7 per cent of trusts which use Windows XP, which has dropped by 18 per cent in the past 18 months.

Responding to Dame Fiona Caldicott’s report into data protection, the government says that NHS Digital will be publishing technical advice and guidance this month to distinguish unsupported systems, and an initial £21 million will be used to increase cyber resilience of major trauma sites.

According to the report, the government accepts the recommendations from Caldicott’s report.

It states: “Central support for NHS Digital’s national applications operating on outdated platforms will be phased out, with Windows XP support being withdrawn from 2018. Local organisations should be aiming to have isolated, moved away from or be actively managing any unsupported systems by April 2018.”

Rob Shaw, interim chief executive of NHS Digital, said: “NHS Digital is committed to the principles set out in the NDG Review.

“We will work with public, patients, health professionals and partners to build understanding and trust that the data we hold is kept secure and shared safely. We look forward to delivering on the actions the Government Response describes.”

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