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NHS releases cyber security resources to raise awareness of online threats

by Beth Gault
23 January 2023

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NHS Digital has published new cyber security resources to help support GP practices improve their online security.

The materials from NHS Digital’s data security centre are available on the NHS Digital website as part of its existing Keep IT Confidential toolkit, which aims to highlight how staff can mitigate risk and protect patients and their data.

The resources include posters, screensavers, digital banners, sticky notes, social media graphics and an animation. 

Practices and other health and care organisations are responsible for their own cyber security, NHS Digital says. As such, staff are being encouraged to use the resources provided to help improve their knowledge of cyber security concerns, particularly ransomware. This is a form of software that can make data or systems unusable until a payment is made by the victim of the attack.

NHS Digital’s executive director of cyber operations, Mike Fell, said: ‘Good security practices are our shared responsibility and being cyber aware can significantly reduce the chance of cyber events affecting people’s care.

‘We know how busy staff are, but we encourage everyone to prioritise reducing security risks as much as they can to protect the NHS and social care against vulnerabilities.

‘Taking small, simple steps and considering security in your day-to-day work can make a huge difference and we hope that these resources can really play a part in helping to drive that change.’

Last year, NHS Digital said that cyber security was as important as health and safety.

Primary care consultant, Daniel Vincent, recently shared with Management in Practice how practices can protect themselves from cyber attacks.