Pro-active approach to security

Paul Huntingdon, director of public services at encryption specialist Credant Technologies, said that there was an increasing number of emergency services, including the police, looking for advice on data encryption and compliance products to bolster their overall levels of security.

May 7, 2009
By Paul Jacques
Dr Brian Plastow

Paul Huntingdon, director of public services at encryption specialist Credant Technologies, said that there was an increasing number of emergency services, including the police, looking for advice on data encryption and compliance products to bolster their overall levels of security.

He told Police Professional recently that reports Lothian and Borders Police had lost a USB stick containing vehicle registrations and other information was symptomatic of the public sector being under-resourced when it comes to IT security.

“The emergency services are now taking a lead from the UK government and adopting a pro-active approach to security. Not only are they taking extra security technologies on board, but they are also employing policy enforcement systems as well,” said Mr Huntingdon.

“There have been a number of initiatives, combined with a principal budget, to enable the police to invest in mobile technology. This takes the form of either handheld or vehicle-mounted devices, or in some cases both. Of paramount importance is the security of the data that’s held on the devices. While the police has its own network, it also has the requirement to connect back into the GCSx – Government Connect Secure Extranet – and to do this securely without compromising the security of the overall network and attached systems.”

According to Mr Huntingdon, with large numbers of staff operating in the field, the UK’s emergency services are ideal candidates for centrally-managed, end-point security technologies such as Credant’s Mobile Guardian (CMG) system. Already in use by several police authorities – and also being deployed in some of the centrally-driven initiatives around security of police data residing on mobile devices including personal digital assistants (PDAs) and USB media devices – CMG covers all device platforms; whether they are laptops, tablets, handhelds or smartphones, from a single centrally-managed console.

CMG offers policy-based intelligent encryption that delivers multi-level security for both data privacy and compliance – but without the management and usability problems found with full disk encryption (FDE). CMG closes the security holes in file folder encryption, taking encryption out of the user’s hands while encrypting temporary files and folders that contain sensitive information.

A police authority is able to deploy just one solution covering all of its endpoints, including the removable media which is frequently attached to the devices. Importantly, the management, audit and reporting functions are included as standard within the same console.

“Implementing IT security technology effectively is a lot more than simply installing the required systems. It’s also about enforcing the policies surrounding the technology,” added Mr Huntingdon.

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