Since the Windows 10 Enterprise Agreement was signed between the Department for Health and Social Care, NHS Digital and Microsoft, in April 2018, almost all the NHS Windows 10 E5 licenses have been allocated. However, many Trusts have not yet begun to deploy Windows 10 across their users for various and valid reasons, such as internal complexities and system constraints.

Time is ticking

The Windows 7 operating system will be unsupported after 14 January 2020. This makes it imperative that any organisation that has taken the funded licenses has committed to migrating current Windows 7/8 estates. Running unsupported operating systems can put the entire NHS at risk to cyber-attacks and hackers – many NHS organisations and the members of the public experienced first-hand the effects of WannaCrypt.

Why Windows 10 E5

The funded Windows 10 Enterprise E5 licenses provide Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP), plus all the features of an E3 license. The ATP element can be run on Windows 7 but with limitations. This chart below illustrates the extra security elements. The main advantage of ATP is the post-breach detection, investigation and response features.

Windows security features

ATP monitors the operating system for abnormalities and malicious activity across the organisation. If any is detected an alert is immediately raised. Each organisation that deploys Windows 10 with ATP is a part of the NHS national system. This means the same alerts give a real-time NHS enterprise-wide view of the system status. Enabling threats can be dealt with straight away.

Let Trustmarque get you ready to move to Windows 10

Trustmarque developed our Windows 10 Upgrade Readiness Assessment (URA) to help our NHS customers plan for their Windows upgrade. The URA benchmarks the current Windows estate and highlight which parts would become an issue if Windows 10 was deployed.

The assessment aims to highlighted issues across:

  • Applications
  • Device drivers
  • Intranet based apps
  • Hardware chipsets

As a part of the URA we can present the findings to the project team via a simple online Power BI dashboard. Configured specifically to the organisation and leave a live dashboard in place following the initial assessment, so the tool can be run on a regular basis as new builds of Windows are released by Microsoft.

We have delivered the URA to over 25 NHS organisations. For instance, we’ve helped plan a desktop refresh to include a move to Windows 10 and Office 2016 across a new hardware platform. Minimalised disruption for end users and the IT team’s workload when assessing a new operating system, productivity tools and hardware platform.

In some cases, the costs of the Upgrade Readiness Assessment may be covered using Microsoft Deployment Planning Services (DPS) vouchers. These are usually available for customers who bought Software Assurance with licensing. To find out more information about DPS and to check your organisation’s eligibility speak to your Trustmarque Account Manager.

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