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Award for cyber attack response

Created on 01/08/2017 @ 08:40
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An IT technician who abandoned a family day out to co-ordinate The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital’s response to an international cyber-attack has been named the recipient of the latest Health Hero Award.

Welshpool-man Richard Jones, IMT Specialist Network Technician at the Oswestry-based hospital, was nominated for his award by colleague Olivia Thomas-Evans. It was presented by Chief Executive Mark Brandreth and announced at the monthly Board of Directors meeting today.

The cyber attack made headlines around the world when it occurred in May this year. It involved ransomware called WannaCry which locked computers and demanded payment for them to be unlocked. The NHS was particularly badly hit, though there were incidents all across the globe.

Equipment at RJAH was not impacted, in part because of security measures already in place but also because of the remarkable response of Richard and the whole IT team.

Olivia, an IT Service Desk operator, said: “As soon as Richard heard that there was a cyber attack on the evening of May 12, he was in early and late every day to deal with it. He came in on the weekend and nobody even had to ask him.

“He had planned a family day out on the Saturday with his children and wife but instead Rich was here at the crack of dawn in the office working hard and making a plan of action to make sure we did not get affected by the cyber attack.

“He made sure that the Trust was secure and ready. He pulled the team together and made sure all of us knew what we were doing first thing on Monday morning.

“We are such a strong and committed team and that incident and the two weeks that followed have proven that.

“I cannot believe how clever and incredible Richard is! We would be lost without him and I am so thankful I get to work with such an amazing man.”

Richard said: “I’m absolutely delighted but also very shocked to have won this month’s Health Hero Award but it has to be said that this was very much a team effort, that’s the important thing.

“Everyone in the department pulled together and most of the team volunteered to come in during that weekend.

“It was a very busy time for us but also quite a scary one too because of what was going on and how much press there was about it.

“At the time the priority was to ensure we were not impacted and even now the work in relation to it has not stopped. Going forward there’s still an awful lot of work to be done in order to mitigate the risk of cyber security.”

Mark Brandreth, Chief Executive, said: “The cyber-attack wrought havoc across many Trusts within the NHS, causing appointments and operations to be cancelled.

“We avoided such difficulties here at RJAH, and that was in no small part down to the commitment of Richard and the IT Team.

“Teams like IT so often work under the radar, with little recognition for the significant contribution they make to our day-to-day operations. Quite simply, we could not function without them.

“I am delighted to be able to present this award to Richard with the thanks of the entire Board of Directors for his efforts.”


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