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NHS Digital signs new deal with Microsoft

NHS Digital signs new deal with Microsoft
25 January 2018

NHS Digital has signed a new deal with Microsoft over cyber security.

‘Major challenges’

Director and general manager for Western Europe at Infoblox Rob Bolton said that ‘the NHS faces major challenges that require it to modernise, reform and improve services to meet the needs of ever more complex, instantaneous patient demands’.

He continued: ‘However, while digital transformation presents a massive opportunity to support the doctors and nurses who work tirelessly for the good of their patients, these new technologies also introduce new cyber risk that must be mitigated.

‘It’s encouraging then, that Microsoft and NHS Digital are working together on a system that will enable healthcare providers to react more quickly to threats to their IT networks and, hopefully, take the steps necessary to prevent these threats from causing any lasting damage.’

The service, which has already been tested on more than 30,000 machines and covers all devices within health and care settings in England, including hospital trusts and GP practices, was deployed after a successful pilot in Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust.

Under the deal, Microsoft’s Enterprise Threat Detection Service will allow NHS Digital’s Data Security Centre to ‘provide targeted alerts to organisations that enable it’.

Combined with Microsoft’s cyber security expertise, the service offers organisations the ability to detect issues, on individual computers and other devices, a full description of the problem and expert advice to resolve it.

‘Preventable attack’

The move came following the National Audit Office (NAO) report showed that last year’s cyber attack, known as WannaCry, ‘could have been prevented’.

Following the attack, a recent survey of UK healthcare IT professionals revealed that one in four didn’t feel confident in their organisation’s ability to defend against a cyber-attack.

Director of security at NHS Digital Dan Taylor, said that ‘this deal will further bolster protection against cyber security issues in the NHS.

He added: ‘It’s our role to alert organisations to known cyber security threats and advise them of appropriate steps to minimise risks.

‘This marks a step change in our capability to provide high quality, targeted alerts to allow organisations to counter these threats and ensure patients’ needs continue to be met.’


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