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Data and cyber security in adult social care

Research into the security of people's personal data and the resilience to cyber-attack of technological systems used by the adult social care sector, has been carried out by IPC. The Data and Cyber Security Discovery Programme explored how the adult social care sector uses technology and also identified good practice, as well as security risks, prevalent in the sector. In addition, the report considers the effectiveness of existing support for providers and the changes needed to systems and support in order to maintain cyber security and good information governance.

Commented IPC Assistant Director Fiona Richardson “The WannaCry cyber-attack on the NHS in May 2017 raised the question of the security of data across the wider sector. As technology becomes more inherent in care, it is vital that people's information is kept secure, business risks are identified and that the systems in place are reliable and well-maintained, to safeguard against data breach or cyber-attack.”

The work was funded from the Government’s National Cyber Security Programme and IPC was commissioned by the Local Government Association, Care Provider Alliance and Department of Health and Social Care, to carry out the project. Recommendations from the programme were shared with care providers and local commissioners via webinars hosted by LGA.

The research took place from October 2018 until March 2019 in three local authority areas: North Yorkshire, Central Bedfordshire and Greenwich and included a representative sample of care providers of all types, sizes and levels of use of technology operating in any of these areas. Each participating service received a visit from IPC to explore how the service uses data and technology and accessed follow up support to help safeguard their data and cyber security systems. IPC also published four case studies, written in collaboration with participating providers, that illustrate some of the good practice in data and cyber security that we found.

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