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Cybersecurity Framework Launched to Protect NHS and Public Sector

David Paul

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Cybersecurity Framework

The NHS in England and other public sector bodies can now access cybersecurity services, from risk management to incident response.

A new free access cybersecurity framework has been rolled out by NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) designed to help the health service and the wider public sector with cybersecurity threats, recovery and management.

The ‘Cyber Security Services Framework’ will provide access to cybersecurity experts, offering a range of services such as consultancy, incident response and recovery, risk management, and staffing.

NHS SBS says the framework addresses the Department of Health and Social Care’s Cyber Security agenda and will work alongside services already available from NHS Digital’s Data Security Centre.

Developed in partnership with NHS Digital and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the framework has an estimated value of £250 million and is set to run until May 2022 with an option to extend for two years up to 2024.

Director of Procurement at NHS SBS, Phil Davies, commented: “The launch of this new framework is particularly timely as the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a new wave of cyber-attacks and scams.

“We welcomed the opportunity to partner with NHS Digital and look forward to continuing our collaborative relationship to ensure the agreement meets national cyber needs.

“Technology plays a huge part in the way the NHS delivers patient care, so it is vital that healthcare providers keep data secure, whilst being prepared for and resilient against attacks.

“The NHS and public sector have been proactive in harnessing improvements in cybersecurity since the WannaCry attacks in 2017 but there is still more work to be done.

“This framework provides a sustainable and trusted solution to help organisations meet the challenges around cybersecurity head-on.”

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A major benefit is the option to allow contracts to be awarded directly at the NHS or public body’s discretion, effectively cutting out the time-consuming and often complex procurement processes.

Commenting on specialist recruitment, NHS SBS said in a statement: “The 25 specialist suppliers on the framework were awarded after a comprehensive and fully OJEU (Official Journal of the European Union) compliant procurement exercise. They include a range of multinationals and SMEs to suit all needs.

“It means that NHS and other public sector organisations can directly award contracts without the need for a complex and time-consuming procurement process or run mini-competitions to meet any bespoke requirements and drive further competitive pricing.”

NHS SBS is adding the new Cyber Security Services Framework to its growing portfolio of digital and IT agreements which include Cloud Solutions, Link: Hardware, Link: Solutions, IT Consultancy and Healthcare Clinical Information Systems.

David Paul

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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