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Government announce support scheme to help healthcare SMEs attain Cyber Essentials Certification


The government has launched a new scheme to support healthcare firms with their cyber security needs. It comes after the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) identified the health sector as being at a high risk of cyber threats, with cybercrime groups targeting pharmaceutical companies and medical research organisations to steal sensitive and personal data.

According to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2020, 46% of all businesses suffered a cyber breach or attack in the last 12 months, with one in three experiencing them at least once a week.

The scheme is aimed at supporting SMEs, like medical suppliers and primary care providers, to access guidance and support to become accredited in the Cyber Essentials certification, including training to make sure all remote workers know how to secure devices.

There’s also the option to receive dedicated support from one of the programme’s cyber experts, to help SMEs implement and action a business continuity plan.

Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman said:

‘We know there is a heightened cyber threat for healthcare businesses at the moment, so we are releasing new funding to help those playing a vital role in the pandemic response to remain resilient.’

Paul Chichester, the NCSC’s Director of Operations, said:

‘Protecting healthcare has been our top priority during the Covid-19 pandemic and we have been working hard to ensure organisations can keep themselves secure.’

Some recent Cyber Essentials programme graduates from the healthcare sector include an app development company whose products have supported patients and clinical teams throughout the pandemic, and an accessible health service provider in Yorkshire.


A healthcare sector participant said:


‘As a key supplier of medical equipment to the NHS, we qualified for government funding for a Cyber Essentials check on our IT systems. It was simple to arrange, we found the assigned partner easy to work with and overall the service has been an excellent sanity check on our IT systems and processes to ensure we are working to the best current security practices. It is definitely worth doing if you can.’

The BRIM network of Cyber Resilience Centres is rolling out nationwide to help SMEs access guidance and support with cyber security, including the chance to become Cyber Essentials certified through one of our Trusted Partners. You’ll find your regional Cyber Essentials training providers on the site of your closest CRC, all of which are listed on our Network page.

You can read more about the scheme on the government website.