NHS Connecting for Health has selected security software specialist McAfee to provide solutions for endpoint desktop encryption and port control, to protect confidential data on NHS computers and mobile devices.

The announcement comes in response to NHS chief executive David Nicholson’s December instruction to all NHS trust chief executives to immediately review and tighten their information governance and data transfer arrangements. The order came in the wake of HMRC losing disks holding unencrypted records on 23m UK citizens.

Under the NHS contract, McAfee Data Protection will provide 700,000 licenses for device encryption, port control, secure content encryption and mobile encryption to NHS organisations across England.

McAfee software will encrypt confidential staff and patient data, helping to safeguard the NHS from data breaches and protect those whose data resides on NHS systems.

According to McAfee software will be used to protect data on all devices such as PCs, laptops, PDAs and smartphones. It will be used to cover content on hard drives and removable media; and computer ports to prevent unauthorised use of portable media connected to USB, serial and parallel ports.

McAfee says its endpoint encryption software integrates with existing software deployment tools and can be deployed centrally across the network to all endpoints. The technology is said to be completely transparent to the end-user and does not impact productivity or require any specialised training.

“McAfee Data Protection technology closely matched our extensive requirements and at a price that represents exceptional value for the taxpayer,” said Mark Ferrar, director of infrastructure, technology office, NHS Connecting for Health.

“The desire for a national agreement for encryption software followed guidance to NHS organizations issued by NHS Chief Executive David Nicholson,” said Jan Van Vliet, vice president of sales, McAfee Data Protection Business Unit, EMEA.

“As part of the agreement, we are also working closely with our partner, Trustmarque Solutions, to set up a nationwide structure to offer training and implementation for IT managers within the applicable NHS bodies across England.”


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