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In today’s ‘new normal’, more and more data is created and used in uncontrolled environments – at the edge, in third-party systems, and across multiple cloud environments. To make matters worse, pandemic-driven disruptions are giving hackers the cover they need to wreak havoc. When so much in the world is uncertain, data protection, data governance and disaster recovery can feel like too much to handle. Knowing your data is protected, governed and managed in line with regulatory and data privacy requirements is critical.

Organisations in the UK public sector are not new to the concept of cyber-attacks and data breaches. In recent times, cyber criminals have taken advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic, targeting public sector organisations in the UK like the NHS, local government authorities as well as private organisations in the pharmaceutical and research industry.

According to a report in the Health Service Journal (HSJ), cyber security experts say healthcare organisations have faced a greater volume of attacks since the COVID-19 outbreak both in the UK and USA, with both countries’ governments issuing fresh guidance after seeing ‘large-scale’ attacks against national and international health bodies.

Hackers have also targeted local government, pharmaceutical and research companies. They are seeking personal information, intellectual property and intelligence that aligns with national priorities.

NHS Digital chief executive Sarah Wilkinson also warned the NHS to expect cyber-attacks themed on COVID-19. The NCSC – which is part of Government Communications Headquarters – said many of the attacks have been in the form of ‘password-spraying’, which is an attempt to access many accounts by guessing commonly used passwords.

According to the NCSC, staff working in healthcare organisations – such as the NHS – should change any passwords that could be ‘reasonably guessed’ to one created with three random words. Two-factor authentication should also be implemented to reduce the threat of hackers successfully gaining entry to systems. NHS IT systems vary in age and quality, with many lacking two-factor authentication. The health service’s old IT was cited as a key factor in the hackers’ success with their WannaCry attack in 2017, which had a damaging impact on several trusts.

Hitachi Content Platform

It’s not surprising that protecting sensitive data whilst still ensuring collaboration and meeting regulatory requirements is a top priority for UK public sector organisations. Navigating modern challenges requires support for multiple use cases with visibility and control across all data. A modern digital platform enables easy management of volumes of data, seamless response to application demands and wide data accessibility, while satisfying compliance requirements.

Hitachi Vantara have built data storage solutions with data governance and protection at the core. Its Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) keeps your data secure and available 24/7, however fast your business is moving. And data-at-rest encryption and 100% guaranteed data availability minimise the risk of you making the front page for a long-term outage or data breach.

The benefits

Data is your most important asset. Protect it with secure, reliable and confident data access anytime, anywhere. Hitachi Vantara can help public sector organisations to:

• Support secure, uninterrupted data access with far less risk of costly downtime;
• Meet zero-RTO and-RPO goals;
• Protect against theft and accidental exposure with stored data encryption and physical data erasure;
• Use AI-driven automation to limit downtime due to human error;
• Recover from ransomware attacks with write-once, read-many data protection.

Hitachi Content Platform can play a critical part in ensuring data privacy and security as part of a wider data governance strategy, dramatically reducing the time to back up and restore data and recover from system failures. With rampant data growth and high service-level demands, legacy approaches to backup and recovery cannot keep up.

For more information on Hitachi Vantara products and services please contact your local SCC representative or email us at online@scc.com.

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