NHS Digital updates cyber security awareness toolkit

NHS Digital has provided new content for its online toolkit for healthcare staff to understand cyber security threats and how to reduce the risk of attack.

NHS Digital has added new information on data security and being aware of the possible impacts of sharing too much information to its cybersecurity awareness toolkit. 

The toolkit was first launched in 2019 and includes practical steps that staff can adopt in their everyday work, such as setting secure passwords, keeping devices locked when they’re not in use, and being aware of phishing, email scams and social engineering.

It is managed by NHS Digital’s Data Security Centre and designed to help NHS organisations run their own cyber security awareness campaigns at a time and in a way that suits them.

NHS Digital’s Chief Information Security Officer, Neil Bennett said:

“Taking small simple steps such as setting a strong password and keeping your screens and devices locked when they’re not in use, are vital for the NHS and patient safety.  Considering cyber security in your day to day lives can make a huge difference and help to keep ourselves and patients protected online and in our workplaces.

“We know how busy NHS staff are, so we want to help them understand the importance of cyber security and how it can benefit their working lives in a quick and simple way.”

Following the announcement from NHS Digital, Camille Charaudeau, VP Product Strategy at cybersecurity company CybelAngel says: “An awareness of good cyber practices will always help to bolster security, particularly as humans can often be the weakest link, so it is important training is provided in a digestible way. Nonetheless, we need to remember staff aren’t the only link in the chain: Health organisations now rely extensively on third parties, and share information with an external ecosystem broader than ever.

"If these players do not apply the same security standards, they expose the whole chain to breaches. Therefore strong defences should be in place behind the scenes; continuous scanning for assets exposed outside of the perimeter is essential to quickly identify and plug data leaks to minimize operational downtimes and ultimately save lives."


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