Contract promises cyber security boost for NHS

Author: Adrian O'Dowd
Contract promises cyber security boost for NHS

NHS systems and patient information look set to get a significant security enhancement thanks to an agreement announced today by NHS Digital.

The agency announced that it had signed a contract with Accenture, the professional services company, so that NHS organisation security specialists would be better able to spot and respond to emerging problems with their digital networks, while also reducing cyber risks.

These new services will build on what is currently offered by the NHS’ Data Security Centre and Accenture will also be using technology provided by Palo Alto and Imperva.

NHS Digital said that expert security specialists within the NHS would now have a broader view of cyber threats across the health service and the NHS would receive free-to-adopt, world class perimeter security services as NHS Digital signs.

The contract was procured by NHS Digital, working with the National Cyber Security Centre and NHSX, and will provide hospital trusts and other care settings the chance to get what is described as free “leading-edge perimeter security” features, including:

  • next-generation firewall
  • secure filtering for web content
  • network intrusion detection and prevention capabilities
  • data loss prevention
  • secure domain name system (DNS) services.

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.”

Niamh McKenna, UK health lead at Accenture, said: “We are delighted to be supporting NHS Digital in this important journey. Security threats are ever more present in our increasingly connected world so enabling the safe and secure use of information within and outside the NHS is of paramount importance.”