Public Services > Healthcare

NHS Digital looks for Security Operations Centre partner

Matteo Natalucci Published 26 July 2017

Pre-tender details requirement for a strategic partner to support centre’s development and delivery; tender expected to follow later this year

NHS Digital is looking for a strategic partner to help deliver enhanced security capability and services to customers across the NHS estate.

It is looking to support the development and delivery of a Security Operations Centre (SOC) to build on and upgrade the current services offered by the NHS Digital’s Data Security Centre (DSC) that already provides foundational threat intelligence and incident response services to health and care via CareCERT.

NHS Digital’s security capability, including its cyber security positioning, was discussed in the recent 2020 report that discussed NHS Digital’s ability to transform itself into a modern, agile organisation capable of meeting the delivery commitments made in Personalised Health and Care 2020. 

The report said: "Although there has been a rapid foundational capability roll-out for cyber security, there is still opportunity to enhance and mature both internal and external cyber services."

The organisation has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to the market, asking suppliers to provide information and feedback which will ensure that NHS Digital’s requirement is solid and market-ready prior to the release of Tender documentation.

The SOC will provide different security functions and will allow standardisation of processes and technology within a single unified Security Operating Model (SOM). It will also provide centralised security services for both NHS Digital itself and the applications and services it delivers to the NHS and the wider health and care sector.

"The SOC is expected to provide the DSC with a singular and coherent view of security at an Enterprise level, while also acting as a centralised function that provides best-of-breed services to internal NHS Digital and external health and care users" the NHS Digital tender document said. 

The document continued: "The SOC will build on – rather than replace – existing capabilities, maturing and enhancing the current offering to ensure that the DSC has a holistic view of security threats to NHS Digital services, including national applications, ICT, Health & Social Care Network (HSCN), NHSmail and others, whilst providing enriched and improved threat intelligence, guided, appropriate and proportionate incident response and education services for health and care."

According to the report, the DSC should possess the following main features:

•    Greater capacity to monitor security threats and provide appropriate, proportionate and timely guidance, advice and expert response.

•    Greater capability to analyse and respond to multi-faceted threats to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data security, including threat research and hunting.

•    Greater analytics power and platforming based on high quality and consumable data, to drive improved and enriched intelligence across all facets of the “prepare, protect and detect, respond and recover” defence in depth and breadth model for proactively and reactively tackling threats to data and system security.

The deadline for pre-tender submission is 5pm on Monday 7 August 2017, with a subsequent industry event expected to follow the RFI submissions.

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