Highways Agency to improve network security
May 21, 2014
By Paul Jacques
Assistant Chief Constable Ben Smith

The Highways Agency is to improve its network security in one of the largest contracts awarded through the Government’s Public Services Network (PSN) connectivity framework.

The five-year deal with technology security specialist Thales will deliver a range of services, including network connectivity, encryption security, wide area networks (WANs), local area networks (LANs) and remote access services for Highways Agency employees.

The system will enable the Highways Agency to exploit modern, secure communications that conform to the Government’s PSN standards, improving cyber-security while significantly reducing ICT (information and communication technology) costs and improving operational effectiveness. The backbone of the solution is a secure, accredited network service that will link the Highways Agency’s 49 sites across the UK.

The secure network will enable improved information sharing between Highways Agency sites, while supporting secure voice and improved data communications services. A high-security remote access solution (RAS) will enable users to connect securely to the Highways Agency networks from remote or home-based locations.

The PSN aims to create a single network, based on industry standards, and in so doing create a more open and competitive ICT marketplace at the heart of the UK public sector.

It will substantially reduce the cost of communication services across the Government and enable new, joined-up and shared public services for the benefit of citizens.

The PSN programme utilises two commercial frameworks: one for connectivity and one for services. Both are now operational.

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