THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE has announced plans to upgrade all NHS systems to Windows 10.
The news, which comes just weeks after UK gov officials slammed the NHS for its "alarming" failure to shore up its cyber defences, will see all NHS devices upgraded to the latest version of Microsoft's OS in wake of the WannaCry ransomware outbreak that led to the cancellation of 6,900 appointments.
Department officials cite Windows 10's souped-up security features - such as SmartScreen and Windows Defender - as the reason for the planned upgrade, and said the move will also improve the ability of NHS Digital to respond to attacks.
Cindy Rose, chief executive of Microsoft UK, said: "The importance of helping to protect the NHS from the growing threat of cyber-attacks cannot be overstated.
"The introduction of a centralised Windows 10 agreement will ensure a consistent approach to security that also enables the NHS to rapidly modernise its IT infrastructure."
In its announcement, UK gov said it has so far spent £60m to bolster its security defences since WannaCry stuck, and said it plans to spend a further £150m more over the next three years.
This will include a £21m upgrade to upgrade firewalls network infrastructure at major trauma centre hospitals and ambulance trusts, £39m to address infrastructure weaknesses, and a new text messaging alert system to ensure trusts have access to accurate information.
The value of the Windows 10 upgrade deal wasn't revealed, but the Department of Health did say it's a "multi-million-pound" package.
Rob Shaw, Deputy Chief Executive of NHS Digital, said: "The new Windows Operating System has a range of advancements in security and identity protection that will help us to support Trusts to keep their data safe from attacks and which will cover both desktop and mobile devices.
"The additional funding will mean we can add an extra layer of protection, whilst boosting our existing services, with real-time monitoring of NHS networks and the ability to see potential threats right down to individual NHS organisations." µ
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