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NHS Digital expands CareCERT cyber security services


New 'Knowledge’, ‘Assure’ and ‘React’ services to help protect patient data from attack

Three new elements to NHS Digital’s CareCERT cyber security services, "will help over 1.3 million 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,” according to Public Health and Innovation Minister Nicola Blackwood.

Announcing the new Knowledge, Assure and React services, Blackwood, said that she “would encourage all health and care organisations to sign up to CareCERT and make the most of this valuable resource".

She added: "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.

"If the worst should happen, the service will also help organisations respond as quickly as possible.”

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."

Launched last November CareCERT – the Care Computer Emergency Response Team - provides 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 this month:

CareCERT Knowledge – an e-learning portal helping organisations to build up the first line of defence by providing cyber security basics training for health and care staff.

CareCERT Assure – a service enabling organisations to assess their local cyber security measures against industry standards before providing recommendations on how to 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.


Image: iStock: Henrik-Jonsson

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