Health Secretary Matt Hancock has used emergency powers under the NHS Act of 2006 to give GCHQ special dispensation to access NHS data, according to ComputerWeekly. This access has been granted to allow GCHQ to examine and boost NHS cyber security, amongst other IT systems, in order to better protect the health service from potential cyber threats during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
The NHS is facing a challenging time at the moment: while we see the work they are doing to save the health of the nation, we are often unaware that behind the scenes they are also saving the health of their network by fending off attacks.
Since WannaCry, the NHS have been highlighted as an increasing target by not just financially motivated hackers, but by mayhem creators too. They therefore require all the help they can get right now from both the NCSC and the private sector where possible. The NHS environment currently needs as much bolstering as possible – although some of this may be difficult to deliver while social distancing is in place.