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NHS Digital reveals £20m new cyber security centre

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Wichy)

The NHS has revealed a major investment in its cybersecurity protection as it looks to remain safe from the latest online threats.

NHS Digital has today unveiled a new £20m Security Operations Centre aimed at improving the service's online protection across the country.

The centre will include what NHS Digital said would be, ‘a national, near real-time monitoring and alerting service that covers the whole health and care system.'

This will also include a group of so-called 'ethical hackers', who will constantly look to probe the NHS' digital defences to try and spot any weaknesses or vulnerabilities.

The centre will also supply on-site data security assessments for NHS organisations, allowing them to identify any potential weaknesses, and specialist support for any NHS organisation or trust which believes it may have been affected by a cyber security incident.

"The Security Operations Centre will enhance NHS Digital's current data security services that support the health and care system in protecting sensitive patient information," said Dan Taylor, head of the digital security centre at NHS Digital. 

"The partnership will provide access to extra specialist resources during peak periods and enable the team to proactively monitor the web for security threats and emerging vulnerabilities. It will also allow us to improve our current capabilities in ethical hacking, vulnerability testing and the forensic analysis of malicious software, and will improve our ability to anticipate future vulnerabilities while supporting health and care in remediating current known threats.

"By creating a national, near-real-time monitoring and alerting service that covers the whole health and care system, the SOC will drive economies of scale, giving health and care organisations additional intelligence and support services that they might not otherwise be able to access."

Michael Moore
Michael Moore is News and Features Editor working across both ITProPortal and TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a technology journalist for more than five years, including spells at one of the UK's leading national newspapers. He is interested in hearing about all the latest news and developments across the Business IT world, and how companies are using new technology to help push forward their work and make their customer's lives easier.