Technology / NHS Trust employees ‘lack cyber security training’

NHS Trust employees ‘lack cyber security training’

Employees at NHS Trusts across the country could be at risk from cyber threats due to a lack of relevant security training.

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A freedom of information (FoI) request has brought to light the danger posed by a lack of cyber security training for NHS Trust employees.

Nearly two thirds of NHS Trusts permit employees to access work data from their personal smartphones and tablets, and 71 per cent of Trusts acknowledged the use of such devices in the workplace.

80 per cent of NHS Trusts also said they supplied their staff with tablets or smartphones in some capacity

However, approximately 70 per cent of Trusts also said they had limited training programmes if any in place to safeguard organisational information, including patient records, for staff using personal devices.

41 per cent of NHS Trusts said their security relied on their server being secure, encryption and trusting staff to adhere to existing information security policies already in place to ensure patient data is kept secure.

Currently, just over half of NHS Trusts said they provided a secure, enterprise-grade application for the sharing of patient data.

“With a reported 93 per cent of data breaches caused by human error, the integration of smartphones into the UK health service must be properly managed,” CEO  of Accellion Yorgen Edholm warned.

“Data breaches are continuing at an alarming rate, yet a cyber security mindset is still not ingrained at every level of the NHS Trusts.”

Nine in ten NHS Trusts also voiced doubts over plans to incorporate employee use of smartphones, tablets and apps to share content among employees by the NHS’s 2018 paperless initiative.

“Two thirds of UK adults own smartphones, and over half of these users describe themselves as ‘hooked’ on their devices,” Keith Poyser, Accellion’s MD EMEA told Business Reporter.

“They are spending about two hours on their devices each day, on average.

“In allowing smart device use NHS Trusts are acknowledging this trend, but with over 70 per cent failing to offer training on how to work securely on them, they are increasing risks significantly.”

The increasing use of smart devices within the healthcare industry correlates directly with the number of cyber attacks in the sector.

Accellion has warned that formal and recurring cyber security training programmes and enterprise-grade security solutions are essential for a sector that handles data that is of greater value than financial details on the black market.

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