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NHS Digital Academy hailed as ‘important mechanism’ for cyber security

In an article by Digital Health released last week, it was announced by NHS England’s CIO, Will Smart, that he feels the NHS Digital Academy will be a “really important mechanism” for improving cyber security within the NHS.

What is the NHS Digital Academy?

The NHS Digital Academy is a virtual organisation set up to develop a new generation of digital leaders who can drive the information and technology transformation of the NHS.

The Academy will provide a year long world class digital health training course to Chief Clinical Information Officers, Chief Information Officers and aspiring digital leaders from clinical, and non clinical, backgrounds.

Find out more about the NHS Digital Academy here.

Why Was it Established?

Will Smart was summoned to speak at NHS England’s board meeting on 8 February to discuss his review of the WannaCry cyber-attack, which took place in May 2017. After this attack had taken place, the NHS was scrutinised by a government report for not following cyber-security recommendations.

WannaCry spread to more than 150 countries in a worldwide ransomware attack and caused over 6,900 NHS appointments to be cancelled, making it the biggest cyber-attack to hit the NHS to date. As a result of this attack, the NHS Digital Academy was created in an attempt to prevent future attacks.

Learn more about the WannaCry attacks here.

How Can it Help?

Smart’s report, which was released last week, lists 22 recommendations for the future, including the appointment of a chief information and security officer (CISO) and a dedicated cyber security lead across the entire English NHS.

The academy, which opened its doors for applications in November, aims to train 300 NHS digital leaders over the next three years. “The Digital Academy is a really important mechanism and can take cybersecurity that one step further,” Smart added.

Read more on this story here.