Birmingham trust ensures data security with cyber investment

Birmingham’s Community Healthcare NHS Trust deploys full suite of cyber security services from CyberGuard Technologies

Birmingham’s Community Healthcare NHS Trust (BCHC) has invested in a suite of cyber security services to keep patient data and personal details safe from any would-be cyber attacks, criminals, and hackers.

The trust provides over 100 community-based clinical and specialist services, via community hospitals, health centres, clinics, community centres, schools, care homes, and dentists, to patients living in and around Birmingham.

And, with thousands of employees working in over 100 sites, its previous IT landscape made cyber security difficult to implement effectively for the disparate workforce, using the trust’s own internal resources alone.

As each NHS trust’s security responsibility is theirs alone, BCHC recognised its need for additional security, which would offer value for money and not exceed public-sector budgetary constraints.

And it turned to Kidderminster-based, CyberGuard Technologies, for the solution.

The trust’s head of IT, Gerard Kilgallon, said: “The IT team has an unwavering priority to deliver IT services that enable clinicians to provide patient care, meaning cyber security was being reluctantly deprioritised across the trust.

“This sizeable challenge was in the shadow of the infamous WannaCry ransomware attack that brought other NHS trusts across the UK to a standstill in 2017.

“Ever since there’s been widespread acknowledgement that the NHS was suffering something of a cyber security crisis, being at serious risk of another attack.”

Initially he planned to recruit his own cyber specialists, but it quickly became apparent that employing a knowledgeable cyber security team would be a challenge in itself.

CyberGuard spent time assessing BCHC’s security requirements via an audit and running a ‘proof of concept’ for the trust for a number of weeks, which allowed the organisation to see the security service and teams in action.

And the system was integrated into the NHS’s complex infrastructure to ensure visibility.

CyberGuard also set up a critical incident response service to pro-actively protect the trust’s systems.

Soon after, BCHC expanded CyberGuard Technologies’ scope with the implementation of its Security Information & Event Management (SIEM) solution to transform the communication between all of the trust’s existing security products, providing a clear picture of any threats along with possible attack vectors, so CyberGuard could escalate and respond to protect the strict patient data protocols and keep sensitive data safe.

Sean Tickle, head of CyberGuard Technologies, said: “Taking our skills and expertise into the public sector has been thoroughly rewarding for CyberGuard, particularly at a time when the NHS has suffered unprecedented pressure due to the pandemic.

“The NHS is a precious public service and we’re proud to be working in partnership to keep BCHC’s network and highly-sensitive data protected from cyber threats.”

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