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Government pledges extra £50million to battle cyber crime

14 July 2017

THE GOVERNMENT has announced that it will invest more than £50 million in additional funding for protecting data and cyber security.

This will include a new £21 million capital fund for major trauma centres - as part of its response to reviews and consultation feedback on these issues. The government says it accepts the recommendations in both the National Data Guardian review and the Care Quality Commission review.

To strengthen the safeguarding of information, the National Data Guardian’s position will be put on a statutory footing and stronger sanctions will be introduced by May 2018 to protect anonymised data, including severe penalties for negligent or deliberate re-identification of individuals. It also announces plans to:

  • Give patients and the public more access to, and control over, their personal data;
  • Build confidence in the importance of secure data to provide better individual care and treatment; and
  • Support research and planning across the health system

To mitigate the immediate risks with cyber security, NHS Digital is supporting local organisations by:

  • Broadcasting alerts about cyber threats;
  • Providing a hotline for dealing with incidents;
  • Sharing best practice across the health and care system; and
  • Carrying out on-site assessments.

Work is underway in parallel to determine the fastest and most cost-effective way to support the NHS to move from unsupported operating systems, including Windows XP.

The NHS contract has been changed so that NHS organisations are formally required to adopt data security standards as recommended by the independent National Data Guardian for Health and Care, which include: security training for staff, annual reviews of processes and extensive contingency plans to respond to threats to data security.

Health minister Lord O’Shaughnessy said: “The NHS has a long history of safeguarding confidential data, but with the growing threat of cyber-attacks including the WannaCry ransomware attack in May, this government has acted to protect information across the NHS.

“Only by leading cultural change and backing organisations to drive up security standards across the health and social care system can we build the resilience the NHS needs in the face of a global threat.”

In addition, defence ,inister Harriett Baldwin visited Gloucester to open Lockheed Martin’s £3 million Cyber Security Centre. The new ‘Cyber Works’ centre, is designed to tackle the complex cyber threats the UK faces. It will create 90 high tech jobs in Gloucester and enable Lockheed Martin to work closely with its UK partners to share knowledge, research and deliver cutting edge capabilities.

Minister for defence procurement Harriett Baldwin said: “With our £1.9 billion National Cyber Security Strategy, Britain is a world leader in the field and the opening of today’s cutting-edge centre is a great example of how partnerships with industry are at the heart of that strategy. Together we are developing solutions to national security risks.

“We are already leading in NATO with support to offensive and defensive operations in the fight against Daesh and complex cyber threats, and I’m also delighted that this centre will further boost the UK’s cyber capabilities.”