Council to upgrade Windows system after malware and virus vulnerabilities exposed in NHS attack

Future-proof Carlow's 'resiliency to outbreaks of viruses and malware'

Darren Hassett

Reporter:

Darren Hassett

Email:

news@carlowlive.ie

Carlow Carlow Carlow

NHS were not patching their machines with security updates

Management at Carlow County Council are planning to change the local authority's Windows operating system due to its "vulnerability to malware and viruses". 

The Council's client PCs all run the Windows 7 systems which have a support expiry date from Microsoft of January 2020. 

This presents a "security challenge to the IT department as when PCs no longer receive Microsofts monthly patches, they are left vulnerable to new types of malware and viruses", the Council chief executive, Kathleen Holohan, has said. 

This was demonstrated quite recently when an outbreak of the Wannacry virus in 2017 brought the NHS to its knees in the UK - with staff forced to return to pen and paper while they waited on a costly and time-consuming recovery operation primarily because the NHS were not patching their machines with security updates. 

Ms Holohan has said: "To that end, IT are embarking on a programme of PC upgrades to remove Windows 7 from the network and replace it with Microsoft's newest Windows 10 operating system. 

"Windows 10 is planned by Microsoft as their final operating system, with rolling improvements made year on year. 

"It is also designed for desktops, laptops and touchscreen tablets to provide a familiar and consisten interface across all user devices."

Currently, Carlow's PCs number nearly 250, with over 20% having already received the Windows 10 upgrade. 

She added: "IT will continue to work with staff during the rest of 2018 and spring 2019 to upgrade the PCs and future-proof our resiliency to outbreaks of viruses and malware."