Cyber security not-for-profit membership organisation, Secure Chorus, has announced today the launch of its Thought Leadership Platform. The initiative will increase awareness and understanding of current cyber security issues among business leaders across the public and private sectors. It will also stress the importance of protecting data and how to best address this challenge in practice.
Secure Chorus has hosted its first full-scale sector-specific Thought Leadership Platform with representatives of the NHS. The meeting took place at Secure Chorus’ headquarters at the Level39 technology community space in Canary Wharf and addressed the issue of protecting data from patient health and care records within the NHS, the UK’s largest public-sector employer.
With the implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), there is an increased emphasis on the importance of secure multimedia technologies for M2M, B2B and B2C within the healthcare sector. Ensuring that staff and patients have secure access to the right data, at the right time, is vital to the NHS providing effective, safe and good-value services. Digitalisation is overcoming many of the inefficiencies and fragmentation of the healthcare sector, however the process of moving to a digital NHS needs to happen with data security in mind.
Healthcare is considered Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) and therefore an attractive target for hostile foreign countries or organised crime seeking to cause chaos, especially as attacking a healthcare organisation that is part of a wider network or infrastructure could also provide a ‘way-in’ to other critical facilities. Technologies used in healthcare, along with the variety of its stakeholders, create a complex environment to protect, comprising computer systems, mobile applications and IoT devices, as well as non-medical systems such as CCTV. The large number of stakeholders accessing such technologies has also pushed the security perimeter to protect, with healthcare organisations accessing external networks to stay connected with patients, employees and other stakeholders, and vice versa.
Patient data also has a high black-market value, as it can be used for medical identity theft. This type of crime is a rising concern for healthcare institutions. Medical identity theft is unlawful use of someone else’s identity, such as their health insurance information or social security number, to obtain healthcare services or goods, or to achieve financial gain by falsifying claims and falsifying medical records to support those claims.
The Secure Chorus Thought Leadership Platform initiative is a round-table knowledge-sharing environment that brings together industry voices from both user and vendor communities in the cyber security space. Secure Chorus Chairman Elisabetta Zaccaria, said: “Cyber security is a very complicated world to navigate. Our Thought Leadership Platform brings together our members with user communities across sectors. We help users to rise above the ‘noise’ and understand what are the key matters to consider. This ensures the multimedia technologies they choose are secure, regulatory compliant and interoperable.”
Ms Zaccaria added: “Secure Chorus serves as a platform for public-private sector collaboration on the development of forward-looking strategies, common standards and tangible capabilities that address the current data protection requirements in enterprise. We are aware of the importance of supporting the NHS transition to a digital organisation and we are committed to supporting them to tackle the data security aspect of it.”
Discussing the context for the need for increased cyber security within the NHS, Paul Kenny, Information Governance Manager, DPO, Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “A digitally secure and efficient NHS should empower medical practitioners and patients. We are pleased to have taken part in Secure Chorus’ Thought Leadership Platform. It has helped in raising our awareness about data security in a collaborative and informal environment.”
Ms Zaccaria concluded: “Secure Chorus’ vision is to move away from a fragmented approach to data security. We are pleased to have welcomed on board as members responsible organisations that share our view that public-private collaboration and common standards for data security technologies is the most effective approach to combat cyber threats.”