Lots of people have had a bad time when it comes to cyber security, especially this year. The NHS was hit particularly hard, however, when the WannaCry ransomware managed to infect countless systems across the country - forcing staff to go back to using paper. Clearly it doesn't want that happening again, because part of a £20 million cyber security investment will be spent on a team of on-staff hackers.
For those who don't know, Hackers are generally split into two camps: black hat and white hat. Black hats are the ones you hear about in the news, who hack stuff illegally for their own nefarious purposes - be it criminal or just because they want to cause chaos. White hats are the good guys, using hacking skills to probe defences and find exploits before they can be taken advantage of by the black hats - something tech companies encourage by offering cash rewards to those able to identify new problems.
The NHS is obviously hiring a team of white hat hackers to probe its own cyber defences and identify potential problems before it's too late.
The idea is that NHS Digital will use the hackers to create a security operations centre that functions as a "a national, near real-time monitoring and alerting service that covers the whole health and care system." It'll also have extra specialised resources to utilise during peak time periods.
It's a good idea, and frankly it's the kind of thing every company or government department should have. If you have any sort of digital infrastructure, you'll want someone on payroll who can go hunting for problems before they become threats. The NHS was chastised in the wake of WannaCry for poor cybersecurity measures, so this is a good start to make sure everything is as safe as possible. Provided, of course, that the higher-ups actually bother to fix issues that the hackers find and report. [The Inquirer]