Cisco offers free cybersecurity training for NHS staff

Cisco offers free cybersecurity training for NHS staff

Cisco is offering free cybersecurity training to help improve the resilience of the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). The company has announced that the Cisco Networking Academy will dedicate resources to developing digital and cybersecurity skills for NHS employees in support of the UK government’s recently announced NHS Long Term Workforce Plan. Varying degrees of training are available granting NHS workers access to a combination of free, instructor-led, and self-guided mobile courses, Cisco said. The announcement comes on the 75th anniversary of the NHS.

The NHS faces considerable cybersecurity challenges and risks. A vast network of connected devices, huge volumes of sensitive data, and limited IT resources make the NHS a prime target for cyberattacks that have the potential to not only expose information but also interfere with life-saving treatments.

In March, the UK government unveiled a new strategy to increase the cyber resiliency of the NHS and help protect it from cyberattacks. The Cyber Security Strategy for Health and Adult Social Care plans aim to promote cyber resilience across the UK’s healthcare sector by 2030, ensuring services are better protected from cyberthreats, securing sensitive information, and safeguarding patients’ access to care. The vision includes five key pillars to minimise the risk of cyberattacks and other cybersecurity issues along with improving response and recovery following incidents.

Training aims to close NHS cybersecurity skills gap

Among the training courses Cisco is offering is an Introduction to Cybersecurity to help build the basic security skills needed to enhance resilience within the NHS. For more advanced skillsets and those keen to learn more, there will be the option to follow bespoke cybersecurity training pathways with modules in such as cybersecurity essentials, endpoint security, and network defence, Cisco said.

“To future-proof the NHS for the next 75 years, awareness of how to keep it safe from cyberattacks will be paramount,” said Elizabeth Barr, head of the Cisco Networking Academy, UK and Ireland. “In collaboration with the Open University, the new Cisco Networking Academy for the NHS will help close the current cybersecurity skills gap, ensuring everyone is empowered to help safeguard the future of our health service, as well as acquire new and exciting skills in an increasingly critical field.”