A new funding scheme has been announced by Digital Infrastructure Minister, Matt Warman, to enable healthcare SMEs to invest in cybersecurity.
The National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) has previously identified the health sector of being at greater risk from cybercriminals, particularly in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
A £500,000 funding initiative has been set up to allow small and medium enterprises including medical suppliers and primary care providers, that will allow organisations to see consultancy and certification costs of the Cyber Essentials scheme covered by government. Funding will cover training to make sure all phones, tablets, laptops or computers are kept up-to-date, proper firewall usage to secure devices’ internet connections, and user access controls to manage employee access to services.
As well as funding, healthcare firms could opt to receive support from one of the programme’s cyber experts, who will look at the organisation as a whole, identify its cybersecurity risks and help develop and implement a business continuity plan.
Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman said:
“We know there is a heightened cyber threat for healthcare businesses at the moment so we are releasing new funding to help those playing a vital role in the pandemic response to remain resilient.
“I also urge all organisations to sign up to the government’s Cyber Essentials programme which contains a number of simple steps firms can take to get the fundamentals of good cyber security in place.”
Paul Chichester, the NCSC’s Director of Operations, said:
“Protecting healthcare has been our top priority during the Covid-19 pandemic and we have been working hard to ensure organisations can keep themselves secure. While we will continue to support them, signing up to initiatives such as Cyber Essentials is an excellent way for organisations to help themselves.
“Those who have not already taken up this offer should do so – it will help ensure they have fundamental security protections in place, even in the most challenging of times.”
Despite good progress in recent years, almost half of all businesses (46 per cent) suffered a cybersecurity breach or attack in the last 12 months, with one in three per cent (32 per cent) experiencing them at least once a week, according to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2020.