Social Care Organizations Get Cybersecurity Boost

  • The UK’s social care sector received a boost this week after NHS Digital released new materials designed to enhance staff cybersecurity awareness of critical threats and risks.

    Developed in partnership with Digital Social Care, the assets are part of the NHS “Keep IT Confidential” campaign and cover key areas such as phishing, password management, secure data sharing, data protection best practices and the risk of unlocked phone screens.

    They include screensavers, web banners, social media graphics and suggested copy for newsletters and bulletins, dispensing simple advice on each topic area.

    NHS Digital’s executive director of cyber operations, Mike Fell, urged all social care workers to prioritize cyber-hygiene.

    “Good security practices are our shared responsibility and being cyber aware can significantly reduce the chance of cyber events affecting people’s care,” he added. “Taking small, simple steps and considering security in your day-to-day work can make a huge difference and we hope this campaign can really drive that change.”

    Improving the cybersecurity of the sector is of acute importance. In the UK, it’s largely run by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with limited IT resources. However, as part of the healthcare sector, it’s among those most likely to hold personal data on customers, making it a potentially attractive target for cyber-criminals.

    Michelle Corrigan, programme director at Better Security, Better Care, argued that adopting the NHS Data Security and Protection Toolkit is an important step in building cyber-resilience in the sector.

    The toolkit is actually an online self-assessment form that allows participating organizations to evaluate themselves against the National Data Guardian’s 10 data security standards.

    “Protecting people’s data is really a safeguarding issue as we all store and share more and more information digitally,” Corrigan continued.

    “The Keep IT Confidential campaign provides valuable, clear advice for care staff and we encourage everyone to share these messages widely.”