Case Study – North East London NHS Foundation Trust

Can you tell us a bit about your organisation?

North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT) provides an extensive range of integrated community and mental health services for people living in the London boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Havering, Redbridge and Waltham Forest and community health services for people living in the south west Essex areas of Basildon, Brentwood and Thurrock.
With an annual budget of £355 million, we provide care and treatment for a population of circa 4.3 million and we employ approximately 9,000 staff who work across 210 bases in London, Essex, Kent and Medway.


What was the business need for AppCheck?

We needed a tool for security vulnerability testing of our in house developed software, to help us be more proactive with security and complaint with latest security standards.
In addition to web application security testing we also use AppCheck for our vulnerability scanning on our internal infrastructure. AppCheck is constantly checking for these types of vulnerabilities.
Since WannaCry, there has been increased pressure on the NHS to increase efforts surrounding cyber security and with the introduction of the DSP Toolkit there are now standards in place to ensure we are secure against cyber vulnerabilities. With AppCheck we are now constantly scanning our internal and external estate and have regular scans running against our most critical sites and infrastructure.


What were your main challenges with security before AppCheck?

As I mentioned, we have 9,000 staff across 210 bases. On top of which we have a catchment area of around 4.3 million people. This is a lot of staff and patient data to protect.
Only having one test a year meant a lack of visibility and new vulnerabilities are cropping up all the time, so we needed a service that was constantly scanning. We still run an annual penetration test but with the addition of regular vulnerability scans as the cost of AppCheck is so affordable. The two work great hand in hand and we ensure we are being as proactive as possible.


Sum up your experience with AppCheck in one line

Easy to set-up and use, great coverage, excellent visibility, instant reporting and very helpful and easy to contact support team.


What made you choose AppCheck over other vendors?

A big sell was the UK based support. At the time we were offered some great support options and we have made good use of these. Aside from this, the tool itself offers great remediation advice and quickly re-scans for vulnerabilities once remediation has been carried out.
The price was a major benefit and sharing it across our services made it even more affordable.
Although it’s an automated tool we can still scan post-log-in and in the SDLC/CI Pipeline to ensure no critical vulnerabilities are pushed live. The unlimited testing is fantastic for this.


How has the tool helped your organisation?

AppCheck allows us to proactively resolve potential cyber security incidents before they occur and helps mitigate the risk.
We now have visibility all year round and the tool provides clear assessment results and remediation with clear and concise reports that can be fed to management level.
AppCheck gives us that instant visibility rather than waiting for procurement and a once a year test.


What is your favourite part of the AppCheck tool?

The user-friendly interface with access to instant results and reports is by far my favourite feature.
We can also now carry out both internal and external estate scanning, which is a real benefit to us.


What advice would you give to other companies looking to manage vulnerabilities?

Get a free test. This gives you a really good idea of what needs doing. Our test came back and was so in-depth and helpful that we signed up on the spot.


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