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September 5, 2017

NHS hacked? UK government should pay ransom, says almost half of Brits

The recent WannaCry ransomware attack that had a global impact caused the NHS to grind to a halt, meaning staff had to use pen and paper in the absence of digital systems.

By Tom Ball

Research has discovered that close to half of the UK population believe the government should pay the ransom if the NHS is hacked.

Those under the age of 25 were most in favour of the government taking financial responsibility in the event of the NHS being locked down by ransomware, with 75 per cent answering in agreement.

While a significant, but considerably lower percentage of over 55 year olds, 33 per cent, believing that the government should foot the bill and pay a cyber-ransom against the NHS.

With these statistics taken into account, 48 per cent of the entire UK population are in favour of the government being responsible in this scenario.

This information has been gathered and collated by, also discovering that 60 per cent of the public are most worried about hackers targeting the NHS. Follow close behind this public fear, 56 per cent are afraid of banks being compromised by cyberattacks.

Simon Migliano, Head of Research at said: “Brits are clearly concerned that the NHS remains in the crosshairs of cyber-criminals… These fears will likely be compounded by the fact that this vital public service was reeling from severe underfunding even before WannaCry struck to demonstrate the need for major investment in cybersecurity measures. With the necessary funds unlikely to be made available in the near future, it’s little wonder so many people expect the Government to pay a ransom, given how many of us rely on the NHS in our daily lives.”

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Another revelation made by this report is the finding that on average Britons would pay no more than £68 to prevent their data falling into the hands of hackers, marking a lack of importance placed on data.

“It’s startling to see how little individuals value their own data… Ransomware has only recently started to make the headlines, so this complacency will be due to ignorance. This will quickly change should more people have a direct experience of suffering being held to ransom over the contents on the personal devices they take for granted,” said Migliano.

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