NHS England establishes the standards and frameworks under which healthcare services are provided in England. The organization has recently come together with another health governance body – NHS Improvement, responsible for better supporting the NHS, and provide patients consistently safe, high quality, compassionate care within local health systems that are financially sustainable. The organization has developed a long-term partnership with IT service provider O2 UK, which together with Check Point, manages NHS England’s mobile security.
Supporting secure mobility
NHS England not only manages the standards for healthcare services in England, but the way it operates is seen as hugely influential. In 2018, they started a new project to enhance their mobile workforce security, partnering with their trusted consultants from O2 UK, a long-time Check Point partner and expert in Mobile Security. Mobility is now central to the way NHS England works: almost all its 7,500 staff work from mobile devices. Staff can check emails, share reports and key documentation internally and with other health bodies, set up a video call, access their staff records, or submit expenses from their mobile devices.
“We use many different collaboration technologies; mobile working is standard,” says David Wright, Head of IT Service Management, NHS England. “We have to make sure we have protected mobility and that we have our data security protocols in place. We have to be advocates of IT security in the workplace.”
NHS England needed to simplify the management of its mobile devices, ensuring secure access and clearer visibility of the threat landscape.
The leading mobile threat defense solution
Check Point is at the heart of the new approach to mobile security. Check Point SandBlast Mobile protects NHS England mobile users from malware, network and phishing attacks, OS exploits and malicious apps.
“The cloud-based dashboard provides real-time threat intelligence and visibility into the type of threats that could impact the organization,” says David Wright.
SandBlast Mobile’s native integration with mobile management tools enhances the visibility and management of the organization’s risk posture of mobile devices. With the assistance of O2 UK, NHS England seamlessly deployed SandBlast Mobile integrated with IBM Maas360 Mobile Device Management. SandBlast Mobile adds a critical layer of protection for malware and phishing attacks, while MaaS360 provides control of hardware and enforces policies based on the risk and threat intelligence provided by Check Point.
Smarter working to improve frontline healthcare
The solution safeguards mobile workers’ devices for NHS England. It enables NHS England to manage mobile devices for 7,000 users, with secure access to a constantly changing menu of workplace productivity applications. SandBlast Mobile helps NHS England achieve compliance with the UK’s Data Protection Act, 2018, bringing it in line with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Mobile users are now warned if they attempt an unsecured connection. Moreover, says David Wright, Check Point SandBlast Mobile provides greater clarity on the threats facing the organization. He says his team now has direct access to dashboards, it is easier to generate and share monthly reports, and there are regular sessions with Check Point to understand new threats.
“For the first time, we have the information at our fingertips. Also, SandBlast Mobile is incredibly easy to administer. We wanted a solution that didn’t overwhelm us or require too much resource to manage.”
The engagement with Check Point and O2 UK raises security expertise in-house, he continues, and provides assurance that mobile working is managed correctly. It also enables NHS England to demonstrate security best practice to others in the healthcare community. NHS England supports some of the most innovative and pioneering projects in the NHS, including NHSX, the department responsible for the digital transformation of UK healthcare.
“The decisions we make have a tremendous influence on frontline healthcare,” says David Wright. “It’s vital we securely give our employees the tools they need to work smarter and do their jobs effectively.”