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NHS Wales fights back against cyber crime

NHS Wales has responded to a surge in cyber-attacks against the healthcare sector by enlisting the services of some of the world’s leading cyber security experts.

Cyber threat intelligence platform

Recognising that the rise in healthcare sector-specific cyber-attacks has the potential to put lives at risk, Thales has given the NHS Wales Informatics Services team access to OpenCTI. OpenCTI is a cyber threat intelligence platform and a global centre of knowledge about the latest and emerging threats.

The £20 million National Digital Exploitation Centre (NDEC)

Thales’s offer to the NHS in Wales, which follows naturally from a close working relationship with the Welsh government and a joint £20 million cyber security research centre (NDEC) in South Wales, will help to protect vital systems. The service, which Thales is providing free of charge, includes:

  • Weekly reports, tailored to the needs of NHS Wales
  • Access to a web portal where NHS Wales can perform its own threat analyses
  • A full integration of Thales threat intelligence platform into the customer’s security operations centre
  • Free access to the combined knowledge of some of the world’s leading experts in cyber security

The OpenCTI platform is constantly updated by teams of experts drawn from around the world, from a pool of 15,000 software developers and security engineers working in Thales’s cyber business. The business currently defends 50 national governments including NATO members. As new threats emerge, they are analysed, and Indicators of Compromises are uploaded, together with messages and article to help cyber defence teams to prepare their responses.

Monitoring and analyses

The value of OpenCTI lies in 24/7 monitoring and analyses of the tactics, techniques and procedures of known threat actors. The intelligence is drawn from a growing network of Thales Cyber Security Operations Centres around the world, which pool information on the latest threats and their sources. Using this intelligence, supported by sophisticated security technology, they are able to pursue and defeat even the most determined and targeted attacks.

Thales has also made OpenCTI available to France, where it is being used to protect 50 hospitals in and around Paris. That move was prompted In March, after Paris health service’s servers were blocked for several hours in a denial of service attack when hackers flooded them with requests.

Commenting on the offer of free access to OpenCTI, Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates said:

“The Welsh Government is calling on all businesses to respond to the huge challenges presented by this pandemic. I would like to thank Thales, and many companies like it, for their efforts which will help ease pressures on the NHS.”

New horizons in cybersecurity

You can read the interview with Gareth Williams, VP, Secure Communications and Information Systems UK at Thales by the French Chamber of Great Britain.

Find out more about Thales in Wales and how Thales are mobilised in the fight against COVID-19.