WannaCry [OT]

Richard Gaskin ambassador at fourthworld.com
Mon May 15 10:56:38 EDT 2017

David V Glasgow wrote:

 > I recently finished a fixed term contract working for a pretty IT
 > savvy NHS Trust.  The NHS has been forced by central government to
 > reallocate IT (and other infrastructure) monies to front line
 > services.  They are also trapped by legacy software with dependencies
 > on old (and proprietary) Windows systems and software. Now obviously
 > stupid, but actually historic stupidity which was in the 1990s
 > disguised  as good business and standard practice.
 > Not to mention the Clinical Information Systems which look and behave
 > as if it is still the 1990’s.
 > Apart from that, everything is fine.

That's the sad reality of so many security budgets: they don't become 
adequate until after it's too late.

The dependency on older unsafe software versions is one that's always 
mystified me.  I once worked for a vendor whose clients included several 
large hospital networks, and one of them required us to deliver our app 
in a way that would maintain compatibility with IE 6, years after 
Microsoft warned customers to stop using it.

Subsequent versions of a software are generally supersets of features 
found in earlier versions, with the only things missing as we go forward 
being bugs.

When written to spec, it should move forward gracefully.  Microsoft has 
done a better job of maintaining backward compatibility than most.

So if someone writes an app that doesn't work going forward, dependent 
on things specific to an outdated system, in effect their app is 
dependent on bugs.

For any org to consider bug-dependent software "mission critical" should 
raise eyebrows.  For a hospital it seems even more serious.

But I understand how budgets tend to gloss over things like this.  And 
this week, even the most reluctant orgs do too.

  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Systems
  Software Design and Development for the Desktop, Mobile, and the Web
  Ambassador at FourthWorld.com                http://www.FourthWorld.com

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