HEALTH services in Helensburgh and Lomond were unaffected by the major cyber attack which struck NHS boards and other public bodies across Scotland and the UK last week.

All but three of Scotland's NHS boards were hit by the ransomware attack on Friday – but in the Highland area, which covers Helensburgh and Lomond along with the rest of Argyll and Bute, the effect was minimal.

A spokesman for NHS Highland told the Advertiser: “NHS Highland had one isolated incident in a community nursing site in Mull. There was no impact on patient care.”

The two GP practices based at Helensburgh Medical Centre were not affected by the attack, while NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said there was no impact on GP surgeries or on acute hospital services in West Dunbartonshire.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon said no patient data had been lost in the attack, which affected 11 health boards as well as NHS national services and the Scottish Ambulance Service as well as public bodies in countries across the world.

The attack also led to questions over the security of the Trident submarine fleet, based at HM Naval Base Clyde, following reports in 2016 that the systems on board the Vanguard-class vessels were running on an outdated operating system.

An MoD spokesman said: “Whilst we do not comment on the specific systems used by our submarine for reasons of security, we have absolute confidence in our independent nuclear deterrent. 

“Vanguard class submarines operate in isolation by design which contributes to their cyber resilience.  We dedicate considerable resource to assessing cyber threats and we will apply any necessary mitigations to combat these threats.” 

The planning section of Argyll and Bute Council's website was down for a spell on Friday afternoon, but that issue was not linked to the cyber attack – and the authority's services were otherwise unaffected.

A council spokesman said: "The planning site issue was unconnected. Our network has not been affected by the cyber-attack.

“Our security systems block thousands of attempts to breach our network every day and employees have been reminded of the need for vigilance when dealing with emails, opening attachments, clicking on embedded links and when browsing the internet.”

Gerry Grant, chief ethical hacker at the Scottish Business Resilience Centre, said: “We can’t recommend highly enough the practice of habitually updating systems, however disruptive or inconvenient at the time – as soon as those updates become available.

“It can be too easy to put this off and click the ‘remind me tomorrow’ option. Unfortunately it can take a highly publicised attack such as this to affect behaviour.”