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Cisco secures NHS connections

NHS Digital has selected Cisco and the IT firm Computacenter, a Cisco Gold Partner, to help secure the network that provides connectivity for health and social care services across the UK. The contractors have introduced technology, processes and training.

Based on Cisco Stealthwatch, the holistic network analytics solution uses machine learning to identify malicious activity. It is then stopped or flagged to the NHS Digital Security Operations Centre (SOC). The SOC was established with Cisco services and is supported by defined incident response guidelines.

Chris Price, Director of Public Sector and SI, Computacenter says: “In an age of digitisation, trust in IT is absolutely crucial. When this is applied to Healthcare, the underlying importance of trust between patient and the healthcare professional, combined with trust in the ability to access, protect and recover patient information, is paramount, not only for the effectiveness of the healthcare professional, but also as peace of mind for the patient. Reliable IT security is no longer an option, it is a necessity. Through this partnership, NHS Digital can rest assured that they are applying best practice in data security.”

The Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) is for securely connecting healthcare organisations. It’s a hybrid wide area network providing private and Internet connectivity, which succeeds the legacy NHS N3 network, enabling National health bodies across the UK, including regional hospitals, clinics, and GP surgeries, to communicate and securely share digital patient records.

Scot Gardner, Chief Executive, Cisco UK and Ireland says: “Cyber threats are constantly evolving. This necessary step will help ensure that digital health and care organisations are protected, prepared and ready to respond. The security solution delivered by Cisco and Computacenter provides NHS Digital’s security analysts with visibility of traffic patterns and potential threats across the network, enabling this critical public service to better protect themselves and continue to focus on the important work of providing world-class care for everyone in the UK.”

Computacenter designed and led the project.


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