NHS Digital has signed a five-year contract with Accenture to provide perimeter cyber security services for health service organisations in England.
It said the contract is estimated to be worth approximately £40 million. It was procured in collaboration with the National Cyber Security Centre and NHSX – the digital policy unit within the Department of Health and Social Care – and will give NHS bodies free access to the services.
These include next generation firewalls, secure filtering for web content, network intrusion detection and prevention capabilities, data loss prevention and secure DNS (domain name system) services.
Accenture is to draw on technology provided by cyber security specialists Palo Alto Networks and Imperva in providing the service.
It will add to the services available from NHS Digital’s Data Security Centre. The organisation said it will give security specialists a broader view of cyber threats and enable them to respond quickly.
Rob Shaw, deputy chief executive of NHS Digital, said: “This deal is great news for NHS organisations. This is cutting edge technology that will help keep patient information and NHS systems safe, at no cost to local organisations.
“For us, the more organisations that join, the better we will be able to see what is happening across the estate.
“This means that we will be able to monitor for threats more effectively, supporting the NHS to increase data security and helping to provide safer care for patients.”
The move is the latest in NHS Digital’s efforts to beef up cyber security in the health service. Last year it signed a contract with IBM for a range of data security and cyber response services as part of the effort to increase the capabilities of its Cyber Security Operations Centre, and launched a Data Security and Protection Toolkit.