As health services across the world battle Coronavirus, NHS Wales is stepping up its defence against viruses of the technological kind.

The new agreement with Thales will enable the NHS Wales Informatics Services (NWIS) team to protect vital systems from a surge in cyber-attacks by accessing Thales’s technical threat analysis service, a global centre of knowledge about the latest and emerging threats.

Thales say it will be providing the service to NHS Wales free of charge.

Thales’s intelligence service makes available its intelligence, identification, computer virus spread monitoring, threat analysis and rapid response skills to healthcare systems across the world, now including NHS Wales.

Gareth Williams, VP Secure Communication and Information Systems for Thales UK, said

“In this highly unusual situation, we all need to work together to protect the vital services on which patients and NHS staff rely.  France’s medical community has already made use of the threat intelligence service, and we’re proud to be working with our partners in the Welsh Government so that NHS Wales can share our cyber information flow.”

Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates, said:

“Partnership working between the Welsh public sector and the private sector has never been so important as we all work together to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Wales is playing a leading role in the rapidly expanding cyber security sector and the Welsh Government’s support for this vital area of work is evident, not least in our collaboration with Thales on the National Digital Exploitation Centre – our £20m cyber centre in Ebbw Vale, which is working to deliver the next generation of cyber talent in Wales.

The Welsh Government is calling on all businesses to respond to the huge challenges presented by this pandemic. I would like to thank Thales, and many companies like it, for their efforts which will help ease pressures on the NHS.”

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