New strategy to protect NHS from cyber attacks

The government has unveiled a new strategy intended to protect the NHS from cyber attacks.

The Cyber Security Strategy for Health and Adult Social Care lists five ways to build cyber resilience in health and care by 2030.

The intention is to ensure that services are better protected from cyber threats, securing sensitive information and ensure patients are able to continue to access care.

The strategy includes five ways to minimise the risk of cyber attacks and other cyber security issues, and to improve response and recovery following any incidents across health and social care systems. The five pillars include: identifying the areas of the sector where disruption would cause the greatest harm to patients, such as through sensitive information being leaked or critical services being unable to function; uniting the sector so it can take advantage of its scale and benefit from national resources and expertise, enabling faster responses and minimising disruption and building on the current culture to ensure leaders are engaged and the cyber workforce is grown and recognised, and relevant cyber basics training is offered to the general workforce.

The other two pillars are embedding security into the framework of emerging technology to better protect it against cyber threat an supporting every health and care organisation to minimise the impact and recovery time of a cyber incident.

A full implementation plan is set to be published in the summer.

Health Minister Lord Markham said: "We’re harnessing the power of technology to deliver better, safer care to people across the country – but at the same time it’s crucial we’re also bolstering the defences of our health and care services.

"This new strategy will be instrumental to ensure every organisation in health and adult social care is set up to meet the challenges of the future.

"This is an important step to ensure we’re building an NHS which is sustainable and fit for the future, with patients at the centre."

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