Dorset’s new email system improves security

Dorset Police has installed an email monitoring and archiving system to boost the security and efficiency of email delivery.

Mar 8, 2007
By David Howell
Picture: Police Scotland

Dorset Police has installed an email monitoring and archiving system to boost the security and efficiency of email delivery.

The system from Waterford Technologies allows Dorset to monitor the internal mail system, and report on how many emails have been sent, how many are work related and flags up any inappropriate key words.

Michael Knight, information security officer at Dorset commented: “Everyone talks about how mail systems can be misused and what can be circulated. If you don’t know what is happening you have no way of implementing any management policies.”

The archiving and e-discovery capabilities allow Dorset to respond to FOI requests, and retrieve emails from the archive, even if they have been deleted. Dorset can now identify the origin of an email and assess the size of any attachments. It also archives all mail, even if users have deleted it, and reduces storage costs through removing attachments from older e-mails and replacing them with links (‘stubs’) to the attachments in the MailMeter Archive Volume where they are compressed and stored separately from the mail server.

The system has improved email efficiency by providing information to help manage bandwidth and make the best use of email system and exchange servers. Michael Knight concluded: “There is a lot of information there that can help us manage our bandwidth and make the best use of our email system and our exchange servers. If you can see a peak over a couple of hours in a day and it’s putting a load on your system, you can use that information to defer sending low-level emails to 4am when the system is quieter.”

The new system comes at a time when Force’s Professional Standards Department is threatening disciplinary action against some officers who used their computers to add their names to the road-pricing petition.

A clause in their contract states that they can use their computers for personal use, but forbids any political activity. Officers that have signed up to the petition could face a £259 fine but the Police Federation is urging that any punishment should be proportional.

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