IBM has won a multimillion pound three-year tender to advise the NHS on cyber security, as part of a drive to boost the health service’s defences following last year’s WannaCry attack.
NHS Digital refused on the grounds of commercial sensitivity to reveal how much the deal was worth, but confirmed that the maximum tender value was revised up earlier this year to £30m.
In a statement, the health service’s centralised IT division said the funding would enable it to expand its Cyber Security Operations Centre and enhance its ability to monitor, detect and respond to security risks.
“This partnership will enhance our existing Cyber Security Operations Centre which is delivered from NHS Digital’s Data Security Centre,” said the NHS’s Dan Taylor. “It will give us, during times of increased need, the ability to draw on a pool of dedicated professionals from IBM.”
The partnership, Taylor added, would allow the health service to “share knowledge and skills from the industry” while “continuing to develop our internal expertise”.
In April, the government unveiled plans to launch a £150m cyber security spending package. The investment will fund the implementation of 22 recommendations drawn up in light of WannaCry.
But, more than a year on from the attack, the government is yet to confirm when they will be put into practice. Meg Hillier, chair of the Public Accounts Committee, said in April that the government’s slow progress on addressing the lessons of WannaCry was “alarming”.