There’s a famous adage that reads, “The best things in life are free,” and Cisco makes sure to live this up. Cisco is providing cybersecurity training for free to the staff of the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). And the company warns of a high-severity bug that allows attackers to break traffic encryption. Here’s the news roundup.

Free cybersecurity training

NHS staff, rejoice. To commemorate NHS’ 75th anniversary, Cisco is offering free cybersecurity training to the staff of NHS to improve their resilience amidst possible cyber threats. NHS is the UK’s government-funded medical and health care services that people in the country can avail of without paying the total service cost. Some of NHS’ services include allowing patients to visit a doctor or a nurse at a doctor’s surgery, getting help and treatment at a hospital if they are unwell or injured, and seeing a midwife if a woman is pregnant, among many others. 

Cisco announced that the Cisco Networking Academy will facilitate this free cybersecurity training, also in support of the UK government’s recently unveiled NHS Long Term Workforce Plan. According to Cisco, NHS staff can access free, instructor-led, and self-guided mobile courses. 

Some training courses within this curriculum by Cisco are “Introduction to Cybersecurity,” which will help build much-needed basic security skills to improve resilience within the health service, and bespoke cybersecurity training pathways for more advanced skill sets and those who wish to learn more. The bespoke cybersecurity training pathways have modules that cover cybersecurity essentials, endpoint security, and network defense. 

This training will be very valuable so NHS staff know how to combat cybersecurity challenges and risks in the institutions. NHS’ vast network of connected devices, enormous volumes of sensitive information, and limited IT resources make it a vulnerable target for cyberattacks that will not just expose data but also interfere with the treatments of patients. 

“To future-proof the NHS for the next 75 years, awareness of how to keep it safe from cyberattacks will be paramount,” Elizabeth Barr, head of the Cisco Networking Academy in the UK and Ireland, stated. “In collaboration with the Open University, the new Cisco Networking Academy for the NHS will help close the current cybersecurity skills gap, ensuring everyone is empowered to help safeguard the future of our health service, as well as acquire new and exciting skills in an increasingly critical field.”

High-severity bug

Meanwhile, last Wednesday, Cisco warned of a high-severity bug in some of its data center switch models that would give a chance for attackers to break into encrypted traffic as well as read or modify it.

The vulnerability is named CVE-2023-20185 and was discovered during an internal security testing in the ACI Multi-Site CloudSec encryption feature of the Cisco Nexus 9000 Series Fabric Switches data center.

Thus, Cisco is advising its customers who are currently using the Cisco ACI Multi-Site CloudSec encryption feature for the Cisco Nexus 9332C, Nexus 9364C switches, and the Cisco Nexus N9K-X9736C-FX Line Card to deactivate it immediately. For alternative options so that they can continue their operations, Cisco said they may contact their support organization.

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