Staying healthy

Chris Jones
By Chris Jones
Leeds Digital Festival has been taking place this week, with events across our home city celebrating all forms of digital culture. 
Staying healthy

Topics have included everything from closing the North’s digital skills gap to coding for beginners, with many sessions relevant to a number of the UK’s largest sectors, including health and care.

Like most industries, the UK’s health and care system is becoming increasingly digitally driven, and that will always bring challenges. The NHS email system is the single largest work-based email system in the world, relied upon by 840,000 users including GPs, pharmacists and social care providers. Every month, more than a billion emails are sent to NHS mail addresses, averaging a whopping 1,100 per mailbox.

Healthcare organisations hold some of the most sensitive personal data, including vast amounts of Personally Identifiable Information (PII). This data is gold dust to hackers, allowing them to paint a vivid profile of their targets. Names, addresses, health insurance details - and often financial information - can enable attackers to commit identity fraud and other financial cyber-crimes.

According to a recent article in Business Review Europe, the healthcare sector suffered more data breaches than any other sector in the UK in the final quarter of 2015, with half of all data breaches reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) coming from private or public health organisations. The highly valuable nature of this data makes healthcare a prime target for hackers. To combat the rising cyber threat, the NHS is expected to spend £1bn on cyber-security and data consent. 

We’ve spoken at length in the past about the benefits that come with migrating your IT system to the cloud, including easy access to relevant data and improved disaster recovery. But, as has been proven time and time again, it isn’t always enough to blindly trust any and all cloud systems.

We also understand the difficulty that comes with trying to successfully implement encryption within organisations. Even within businesses operating on a much smaller scale to the NHS, encryption policies can be a mind-numbing task, but it’s vital that business chiefs take it seriously. Not only is it incredibly important, but next year it will become a legal consideration when the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect next year – as we discussed in last week’s blog. 

Bringing in an expert – even if it’s just to assist at the planning stage – will help make sure you create a secure IT system that works for your business without disrupting workflow and upsetting users, clients and suppliers along the way.

If you’d like more information on the best ways to implement cloud servers or encryption within your business, feel free to get in touch and speak to one of our experts today.

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