The British government have promised to spend £150m on its cyber defences against the “growing threat” of cyber-attacks. This follows on from WannaCry which struck last year and affected nearly 600 GP practices and 80 trusts.
With rising risk of Russia hackers and countries targeting the national critical infrastructure a new security contract with Microsoft has been planned. The department of health and social care are particularly looking to improve the ‘resilience against attacks’ meaning the new deal will give trusts the ability to detect threats, isolate infected machines and kill malicious processes before they are able to spread.
Other measures to improve cyber security:
- £21 million to upgrade firewalls and network infrastructure at major trauma centre hospitals and ambulance trusts
- £39 million spent by NHS trusts to address infrastructure weaknesses
- New powers given to the Care Quality Commission to inspect NHS trusts on their cyber and data security capabilities
- A data security and protection toolkit which requires health and care organisations to meet 10 security standards
- A text messaging alert system to ensure trusts have access to accurate information – even when internet and email services are down
Another important move taken by the NHS is to move all systems from Windows XP to the new Windows 10, this will allow Microsoft to run automatic updates something which would have prevented the virus that hit 12 months ago. This will ensure the NHS can use the latest most resilient software available to them and give the public increased confidence in the safety of the health service.
Microsoft UK CEO Cindy Rose said: “The importance of helping to protect the NHS from the growing threat of cyber-attacks cannot be overstated. The introduction of a centralised Windows 10 agreement will ensure a consistent approach to security that also enables the NHS to rapidly modernise its IT infrastructure.”
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “We know cyber-attacks are a growing threat, so it is vital our health and care organisations have secure systems which patients trust… This new technology will ensure the NHS can use the latest and most resilient software available – something the public rightly expect.”