25% of NHS trusts have zero staff who are versed in security
A quarter of NHS trusts in the UK responding to a Freedom of Information request have no staff with security qualifications, despite some employing up to 16,000 people.
On average, trusts employ one qualified security professional for every 2,582 employees, according to Freedom of Information requests submitted by penetration testing firm Redscan.
Trusts were asked about their cyber, information and data security spending and training, with 159 responding to at least one question.
It found that nearly one in four – 24 of the 108 who responded to this question – had no employees with security qualifications.
However, several of the NHS trusts were reported to have said they had staffers in the process of gaining relevant security qualifications.
This might suggest they recognise the importance of training, or that they struggled to recruit people with the qualifications – or perhaps that they were aware of how the numbers would look amid concerns about NHS security.
Most prominent among these is the 2017 WannaCry malware outbreak – which hit one in three English NHS Trusts and cost the National Health Service £92m, but this is far from the only cyber attack NHS systems face. Meanwhile, there are reports about small-scale data breaches that still affect patients, and about clunky tech in need of updating.
Redscan also asked about training for data security and information governance in the past 12 months, finding that trusts spent an average of £5,356 on data security training, with figures ranging from £238 to £78,000.
This broad variation wasn't related to the size of the trust: mid-sized groups with 3,000 to 4,000 employees spent between £500 and £33,000.
Redscan added that "a significant proportion" had spent nothing on specialist training – but a lot of in-house training does not cost the trusts anything, and they can also rely on free tools from NHS Digital.
This includes free information governance training, which NHS Digital recommends that 95 per cent of all staff should have passed every 12 months.
The FoI found that only 12 per cent of trusts had met this target, but most were not far off, having trained between 80 and 95 per cent of their staff. A quarter said fewer than 80 per cent had completed the training.
However, Mark Nicholls, Redscan director of cybersecurity, said that information governance training was just one part in the information and security picture.
"People remain the weakest link in the cyber security chain," he said. "Despite IG training raising awareness of security risks and common pitfalls, you can never fully mitigate the risks of employees making mistakes or falling for social engineering scams."
More broadly, Nicholls said that, despite getting some extra cash from government for cybersecurity in the aftermath of WannaCry, NHS trusts are still under extreme financial pressure.
This will not only make it harder for the NHS to recruit staff as they struggle to compete with "the private sector's bumper wages", but also put pressure elsewhere in the system.
"No doubt resources are being strained further still if you assume that staff with security qualifications are part of IT teams responsible for far more than just cyber security," he said.
Industry: Cyber Security News
- Identity & Access Management (IdAM) Consultant
- Upto €100,000 plus bonus and benefits
An Identity & Access Management Consultant is needed to lead and drive technical and or business transformation projects in a client-facing position for a prestigious consultancy in Germany. The Identity & Access Management Consultant will be responsible for technical design and implementation of Identity & Access Management/IAM products within a wide variety of clients. The Identity & Access Management Consultant will have a blend of technical hands-on and client-facing consultancy with the ability to develop new business. Broad technical knowledge across Identity and access management is benefical. The Identity & Access Management Consultant will need to have technical hands-on experience with one or more of the following core areas; Privileged Access Management (PAM, CyberArk, Beyondtrust, Thycotic) Identity Governance Administration (IGA, Sailpoint, Omada, RSA) Customer Identity & Access Management (CIAM, Forgerock PSD2) The Identity & Access Management Consultant must have the willingness to travel to customer sites across Germany (once we are allowed to)
- Cyber Vulnerability and Threat Hunter, London
REF CH7915 Cyber Vulnerability and Threat Hunter, London £50,000 London To monitor and identify cyber threats and vulnerability within a public sector environment. MIRE Att&ck, CIS, OWASP, Vulnerability management tools MUST be able to commute to central London MUST be able to achieve UK SC Clearance. On going support and development. Apply today for more information or contact me directly on Chris.Holt@dclsearch.com or 07884666351
- Ping Identity Consultant
- upto €850
Looking for experienced PIng Identity Consultants, Looking for consultant with Implemenation or Architect experience in the Ping identity product set (Ping Federate, Ping Access, Ping Directory, Ping Adapter development, SDK etc) This would be for implementation projects, working across Europe. You will be responsible for providing implementation services to our clients from information gathering through to implementation. Evaluating client business, process, systems, and technology requirements and advise clients on best practices to help guide and solidify proposed designs. Manage Client expectations, Stakeholder Managment, ensuring design match business requirements this is a remote role you can be based anywher in Europe
- Ping Identity Consultant
Looking for experienced PIng Identity Consultants, Looking for consultant with Implemenation or Architect experience in the Ping identity product set (Ping Federate, Ping Access, Ping Directory, Ping Adapter development, SDK etc) This would be for implementation projects, working across Europe. You will be responsible for providing implementation services to our clients from information gathering through to implementation. Evaluating client business, process, systems, and technology requirements and advise clients on best practices to help guide and solidify proposed designs. Manage Client expectations, Stakeholder Managment, ensuring design match business requirements this is a remote role, you can be based anywhere within Europe