Egress announced that its Egress Protect solution will be integrated into NHSmail to offer enhanced protection and improve user experience. Egress is a provider of human layer email security.
NHSmail is a secure email service, approved by the Department of Health and Social Care, for sharing sensitive information. NHSmail has a function for sending sensitive emails which are encrypted, to non-secure email addresses.
NHS digital commitment
NHSmail is used by 1.5m healthcare staff daily and is the largest closed secure email network in the UK. The announcement comes as part of NHS Digital’s commitment to use innovative technology to transform the UK healthcare landscape. Effective communication is an integral part of the NHS. Egress’ email encryption technology has a significant footprint in UK Government.
Egress Protect aims to improve healthcare practitioners’ experience. It enables them to use NHSmail to send encrypted emails to unsecure domains. This includes patients and other areas of the health and care system, as well as offering automatic decryption for inbound email. It allows recipients of NHSmail emails that are encrypted using Egress Protect to read and reply free of charge. This is managed using an online portal or using Egress’ free app for Outlook integration.
Importance of secure communications
Secure email communication is available free of charge and in a simple and accessible way, to everyone who needs it. Egress Protect is already used by many local government organisations and major private healthcare providers in the UK. It will streamline communications between these organisations and the NHS. Following an initial pilot phase, Egress is now the new provider for sending sensitive emails from NHSmail accounts encrypted to external email accounts.
Chris Parsons at NHS Digital said, “NHSmail is already a safe, secure email system. Used by almost 1.5 million health and care professionals enabling them to send sensitive information and deliver effective care. The partnership with Egress will continue to build on this delivering an effective user experience. Supporting security and compliance with GDPR with detailed auditing and reporting.”
According to Tony Pepper, Egress CEO, “Modern and efficient healthcare requires an accessible and secure communication network. The platform must be built on the best data security and IT architecture available. At Egress, we deliver email security solutions, that makes it easy for users to protect data and meet compliance requirements. Then quite simply, get on with their day-to-day work. We look forward to an ongoing relationship with NHS Digital, supporting them in the delivery of this critical communication network.”
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The NHS’s decision to integrate Egress Protect Solution is all part its ongoing process of getting serious with security. In 2017, the NHS created its own Security Operatons Centre (SOC). The SOC is responsible with keeping the NHS safe from cyber attacks. It also provides cyber security advice and guidance to local NHS authorities. The organisation has been busy establishing the necessary data security and protection requirements for years. An achievement that has put many large international blue chip organisations to shame, including those in the private healthcare sector.
Having a budget of £134bn and being one of the largest employer in Europe with 1.5 million employees, the NHS is constantly under global cyberattack. Ensuring that NHSmail is a secure and staff and customers can share sensitive information is crucial. Using contextual machine learning, Egress ensures information is protected relative to the risk of a data breach. It should also reduce user friction to ensure smooth adoption.