“But we must remember it’s not just the desktop platform, there are many devices in the NHS ecosystem that will require upgrading,” he said.
The positive side, said James, is the ability to keep the operating system regularly updated moving forward. “Windows 10 is the easiest way to do this to date and has many features that will help protect this delicate environment,” he said, adding that any move towards a greater level of security has to be welcomed.
However, James warned that it will not be easy. “It will come with its fair share of snags and issues, but as with most improvements it will be better going forward,” he said.
“IT security is made up of many factors, a multi-layered approach is the only way forward and it appears a good start in getting it right. Education, knowledge, hardware and software all make up the many faceted edges needed to protect NHS data safe from the never ending onslaught from bad actors,” he added.
Andy Norton, director of threat intelligence at Lastline, said the NHS is signalling that an inherently more secure operating system is less risk than a less secure operating system running next-generation endpoint security.
“Of course it does not address the problem of legacy apps that won’t run on windows 10, nor does it solve the user case of WannaCry,” he said, noting that without the appropriate patching, Windows 10 was still vulnerable, which means that switching to Window 10 will not eliminate all vulnerabilities.