NHS Digital’s first chief information security officer is to leave the organisation after just three months in the role.
The provider of digital services to the NHS has confirmed that Robert Coles has resigned, citing personal reasons.
His role was established with the aim of increasing the focus on cyber security in the aftermath of the WannaCry ransomware attack, which severely disrupted IT systems around the NHS in the spring of 2017.
An internal statement by NHS Digital deputy chief executive Rob Shaw to its staff said his resignation was being accepted “with great regret” and thanked him for the early progress in developing a system-wide cyber strategy.
Coles said: "I am very sorry not to be able to continue in my role at NHS Digital. I have enjoyed working with the very talented and passionate cyber security team at NHS Digital and seeing the commitment to improving cyber resilience across the health and care system.
“I wish everyone involved in building greater cyber resilience in the NHS the very best as they take this critical work forward."
It is understood that Coles plans to work as a cyber security consultant for public and private sectors. He was formerly security chief at GlaxoSmithKline.
NHS Digital is beginning a recruitment process for his replacement.
Shaw added: “The cyber security agenda continues to be key for NHS Digital and for the organisations we support.
“We have managed to recruit some really high quality resources within the team with a mixture of permanent staff and delivery partners and aim to continue to build on that solid foundation in this crucial area.”
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