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NHS Digital signs IBM in cyber security deal


Agreement includes access to X-Force threat intelligence repository and use of innovation service

NHS Digital has entered into a three-year strategic partnership with IBM to provide a range of data security and cyber response services to health and care organisations.

It said they will expand its existing Cyber Security Operations Centre (CSOC) and enhance its capability to monitor, detect and respond to a variety of security risks and threats across the NHS, and to offer expert advice and guidance.

As part of the deal NHS Digital will get access to IBM’s X-Force – a threat intelligence sharing platform – as a source of insights and advice for health and care organisations. This should help them to prepare for, or take mitigating action against, identified risks and threats.

NHS Digital will also be able to use an innovation service to quickly access new tools, technologies and expertise to address threats as they emerge, and adapt services to meet the needs of the health and care sector.

Scanning and analysis

Other features include plans to improve services such as vulnerability scanning and malware analysis, enabling NHS Digital to offer tailored advice to individual NHS organisations, and an enhancement of its current monitoring capability, enabling the analysis of data from multiple sources to detect threats.

The CSOC is also running security monitoring pilots in selected NHS organisations to test relevant technologies.

Dan Taylor (pictured), programme director, Data Security Centre at NHS Digital, said: “This partnership will enhance our existing Cyber Security Operations Centre which is delivered from NHS Digital’s Data Security Centre. It will give us, during times of increased need, the ability to draw on a pool of dedicated professionals from IBM.

“It will build on our existing ability to proactively monitor for security threats, risks, and emerging vulnerabilities, while supporting the development of new services for the future and enabling us to better support the existing needs of local organisations. This will ensure that we can evolve our security capability in line with the evolving cyber threat landscape.

“This partnership will strengthen how we help to keep patient information and services safe and secure, enabling NHS staff and patients to have confidence in the security of our system.”

Image from, Open Government Licence v3.0

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