This month’s round up from the world of cyber security features news that University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust has been hit by more than 140 cyber attacks in the last five years. Elsewhere, a number of digital health firms have received Cyber Essentials Plus certification.

FOI reveals impact of cyber attacks on University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust was hit by more than 140 cyber attacks in the last five years.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request by BBC News, revealed that the trust has spent £29,600 in 2017 dealing with such attacks.

A total of 147 attacks were directed at the trust though it told the BBC that the “vast majority” were “untargeted and unsuccessful.

Populo Consulting secures Cyber Essentials Plus certification

Digital health consultancy firm Populo has secured Cyber Essentials Plus certification.

Cyber Essentials Plus is a scheme developed by the National Cyber Security Centre, which builds on the government-backed Cyber Essentials programme.

The essentials programme allows organisations to self-certify they have taken basic steps to secure their internet connection, devices and data from cyber-attack.

Cyber Essentials Plus goes further and requires, testing and verification by independent auditors from an accredited organisation, in this case Xyone Cyber Security.

Jonah Aburrow-Jones, managing director of Populo, said: “Cyber Essentials Plus is like a security MOT and it demonstrates our commitment to putting standards and adherence to standards at the heart of what we do.

“We understand the expectations that are being placed on health and care organisations to keep critical systems and sensitive data safe and secure.

“Now, they can be assured that their values will be reflected in our work, because we take cyber security as seriously as they do.”

Government launches plans to make UK ‘world leader in cyber security’

The UK’s Business Secretary has announced measures for the UK to become a world leader in the race against some of the most damaging cyber security threats.

Greg Clark confirmed a £70million government investment would go towards research into the design and development of more secure and resilient hardware.

The investment comes from the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund as well as other industry investors.

Clark said: “This could be a real step-change in computer and online security, better protecting businesses, services and consumers from cyber-attacks resulting in benefits for consumers and the economy.

“This is our modern Industrial Strategy in action. Building on the UK’s heritage and strengths in computing and cyber security alongside the government and industry investing together to ensure the UK capitalises on its position to become a leader in the growing markets and technologies of tomorrow.”

Healthcare Computing awarded Cyber Essentials Plus certification

Healthcare Computing has announced it has also been awarded a Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation.

The accreditation requires an independent third-party audit and involved a more rigorous check into a HC’s IT services.

Being awarded the certification shows the NHS IT Infrastructure and Support provider is able to protect its IT systems against common cyber threats, proves to customers its data security ethics, and enables HC to bid for future Government contracts.

Alistair Samways, CIO at Healthcare Computing, said: “Cyber Essentials Plus assures our partners and customers that we take cyber security very seriously. This certification demonstrates that we are fully compliant when it comes to cyber security and we are always looking for ways to improve how we manage cyber security threats. For those we work with, this certification provides additional peace of mind”.

New UK government fund launched to help drive diversity in cyber security

The UK government has launched four new projects across England to encourage more women, BAME, and neurodiverse candidates into a career in cyber security.

Each project will benefit from a total investment of at least £500,000 as part of the next round of the Cyber Skills Immediate Impact Fund (CSIIF).

The aim is to boost not only the total number, but the diversity of those working in the UK’s cyber security industry.

Digital Minister, Margot James, said: “Our cyber security industry is thriving but to support this growing success we need a skilled and diverse workforce to match.

“These latest projects show that whatever your background, ethnicity or sex, there are opportunities to join the cyber security profession.

“We want to demonstrate that you can have a dynamic and exciting career in a sector that sits at the heart of our economy and is a key part of our modern Industrial Strategy.”