Warning that cyber attack risk remains high


COMPUTER users across Fermanagh have been urged to be extra vigilant when opening email attachments or clicking on any links that they are unsure about.
Warnings have also been issued about keeping anti-virus security systems up to date after a mass cyber attack spread around the world, affecting more than 200,000 victims in 150 countries.
The ransomware virus locked files and demanded payment to allow access and avoid data being destroyed.
Health authorities were among those affected with parts of the NHS plunged into chaos and the Republic’s Health Service Executive (HSE) forced to cut its network off from external communications as a precaution.
When contacted, the Western Trust referred this newspaper to the Department of Health. A spokesman there said they were not aware of any similar incidents at this time in the North’s healthcare organisations.
A spokesman added: “Staff in the Health and Social Care (HSC) have been reminded to exercise caution with email communications and to avoid clicking on links or opening documents in unexpected emails.
HSC IT staff are working with existing security software suppliers and system suppliers to address any known risks. This is in line with current guidance from NHS Digital and PSNI.”
Both public and private sector organisations and businesses have been urged to help combat the threat of a cyber attack. The PSNI have warned that while no incidents have been reported in the North as yet, further infections are expected to come to light globally and the possibility that local systems may be vulnerable cannot be ruled out.

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