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NHS completes 'world's largest' mail migration

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(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/kpatyhka)

Earlier this week, the world’s largest email migration to the cloud was completed, with little to no disruption to service.

NHS Digital, the IT arm of the national healthcare organization, has migrated 2.1 million NHSmail mailboxes onto the Microsoft Exchange Online platform, the organization confirmed in a press release.

The process took roughly half a year, kicking off in August last year, NHS Digital said. Accenture and Microsoft collaborated to move 22,000 NHSmail accounts to the cloud every evening and 83,000 on weekends.

The goal of the migration was to create a “joined-up” NHS and equip frontline services with the latest digital tools and services available to the market. NHS Digital hopes the migration will help frontline staff communicate more effectively and reduce the burden of administration.

Further benefits, NHS Digital states, include automatic updates to the latest and most secure version of Office 365.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country, healthcare organizations and workers have been targeted by hackers and cybercriminals. Malicious actors looked to exploit an understaffed and overworked community of healthcare professionals to steal data and launch cyberattacks.

Hospitals and other healthcare organizations were among the most popular ransomware targets during 2020, with ransomware distributed predominantly through phishing emails.

“The migration of NHSmail to Exchange Online has enabled us to provide staff across the NHS with a mail system which is functionally richer, more secure and lower cost,” said Sarah Wilkinson, CEO of NHS Digital.