BCS aims to improve NHS cyber security through collaboration

A three-year plan has been released to improve cybersecurity solutions within the NHS.

BCS, The Charted Institute for IT, released the Blueprint for Cyber Security in Health and Care, which aims to bring together professionals in cybersecurity, healthcare, partner institutions and the general public over three years in an effort to help the NHS deal with cybersecurity threats.

Starting from 2017, the BCS three-year roadmap plans to improve the NHS’ cybersecurity solutions through things such as clear standards of practice, digital training and clear and costed plans that enables the delivery of the 2020 roadmap.

The Blueprint argues that the WannaCry ransomware attach that hit the NHS earlier this year was a relatively small attack that still managed to affect services. The report states that the attack ‘has resulted in a new public awareness of the risks that the NHS and other organisations face.’

Supporting partners of the Blueprint include companies such as BT, Microsoft, NHS Wales, the Royal College of Nursing and more.

Speaking about the Blueprint, Hugh Milward, director, Corporate,External and Legal Affairs Microsoft UK, said: “As a technology company, Microsoft has a special responsibility to address cybersecurity issues and we fully support he Blueprint  for Cyber Security in Health and Care as a means to provide a benchmark in cybersecurity best practice. Across the tech sector, advances are being made which are making important contributions in the fight against cybersecurity threats, but more action is needed, and it is needed now. It’s important that lessons are taken from previous incidents and applied to strengthen our collective response and capabilities, with the tech industry, customers, and governments working together to protect against cybersecurity threats.”

BCS have called on policy makers to ensure a dialogue is created that supports policy actions that are required to deliver the roadmap. BCS also recognise that multiple professional institutes need to be involved so shared solutions are created.

Starting this year, the Blueprint states it will have defined the role of NHS organisation boards as well as IT /cyber security professionals and what they can expect of each other. Next year will see the registration of health and care professionals, alongside the roll-out of advice, commissioned independent studies and the creation of frameworks that ensure academic research on security and practice and real-life experience forms the basis of future developments.

By 2019, the number of professionals undertaking qualifications and registering will have expanded and organisations will have learned from and implemented changes due to initial experiences.

By 2020, BCS state they will be able to assure the public that the NHS is equipped to meet challenges, that professionals are keeping the NHS safe from cyber attacks and highlight with full transparency where there are gaps.