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September 8, 2016updated 21 Oct 2016 4:09pm

NHS Digital to expand cybersecurity

Minister promises efforts to improve health care organisation security defences are to be strengthened

By Sam

NHS Digital is set to start expanding the NHS cyber security service, Innovation minister Nicola Blackwood announced today at the Health and Care Innovation Expo.

CareCERT (Care Computer Emergency Response Team), launched in November last year, and is a national service that helps health and care organisations to improve their cyber security defences by providing proactive advice and guidance about digital threats and cyber security best practice.

The service currently sends out broadcasts about known cyber threats and resolutions, and will now be expanded to include three new services, which will start being tested from September.

•           CareCERT Knowledge- a new e-learning portal to help all health and care organisations train their staff in cyber security basics, and build up the first line of defence in ensuring the security of patient information.
•           CareCERT Assure – a service to help organisations assess their local cyber security measures against industry standards, and provide recommendations on how organisations can improve data security measures and reduce vulnerabilities.
•           CareCERT React – a support service to provide professional guidance and advice on the decisive actions to take to reduce the impact of a data security incident, in order to minimise the impact and help organisations recover and restore security as soon as possible. React will also provide additional information about CareCERT advisories where requested.

Public Health and Innovation Minister Nicola Blackwood said: “The risks from cyber-attacks are ongoing and ever changing across all sectors, and often cyber attacks on the NHS are not seeking health data specifically, but have targeted a range of sectors with the same attack. , But we need to make sure that health and social care information is protected with the highest possible standards of security.

“NHS Digital’s CareCERT service will help over 1.3m NHS staff and those working in care staff boost their awareness and knowledge, as well as helping organisations improve their defences and keep valuable patient information secure.

“If the worst should happen, the service will also help organisations respond as quickly as possible 

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“I would encourage all health and care organisations to sign up to CareCERT and make the most of this valuable resource.”

NHS Digital Chief Executive Andy Williams said:

“The security of health information is key to our organisation, and our new CareCERT services will help us to improve digital security across health and care organisations, from frontline doctors and nurses to chief executives. Good digital security is key to all roles in health and care, and we want to give NHS organisations the benefit of our expertise in this area, so that we can promote best practice across the sector.

“We want to work with as many organisations as possible, and are seeking their feedback, so we can develop and test them according to organisations’ particular needs.

“I look forward to working with people across the NHS and social care to support them to ensure that patient information remains safe and secure in a digital world.”


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