Plymouth City Council Turns To Becrypt To Secure Data To Adhere To New Legislation

BeCrypt, the leading UK encryption security company, is securing sensitive data in the possession of Plymouth City Council as the body steps up its e-government projects. The provision of BeCrypt’s Disk Protect and PDA Protect software will help the Council further comply with the Data Protection Act and ISO17799 requiring organisations to keep their information secure.

Fear of loss or theft of devices storing sensitive personal information led Plymouth City Council to deploy flexible and easily manageable encryption software to avoid any data compromise to local residents. The Council issues laptops and PDAs to a wide variety of staff to enable them to carry out their work away from the office with people who may need support in their homes. For example, a social worker may use a device when conducting a home visits to the elderly or to children in need of care, so trustworthy protection is essential.

The protection of citizen information on Local Authority computers is being evaluated as part of “Project Nomad”, the national project dedicated to mobile computing and e-government in local authorities, sponsored by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. Plymouth City Council is one of a number of Local Authority bodies that has implemented BeCrypt software to protect critical information.

BeCrypt products Disk Protect and PDA Protect have been accredited by the UK government’s Information Assurance Authority, the Communications Electronics Security Group (CESG) within GCHQ. This use of CESG accredited products enables Government Departments to develop and enforce tough policies on protecting data at rest on laptop, desktop and PDA devices. BeCrypt also provides Commercial versions of the software to protect sensitive data in Local Government and for Commercial enterprise customers.

“We need to protect information on our employees, customers and local businesses from third parties and meet the ISO17799 standard for information security management,” said Mel Gwynn, infrastructure services manager for Plymouth City Council. “Disk Protect and PDA Protect give us a common platform by which we can transport and share information securely within the Council.”

The Social Services department of the Council is striving to improve its ranking after the last Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA). Part of that process is the increased use of laptops to raise the level of service provision to the clients. BeCrypt’s encryption software has helped the Council address some of the critical areas related to security in that very sensitive area. Staff need to download files securely back onto the Council’s servers on their return to the office.

Peter Jaco, CEO of BeCrypt, said that Plymouth City Council was leading by example in its drive for secure e-government. “As government departments and local councils increasingly benefit from the use of technology, they have to ensure that the ever-growing amount of sensitive data on staff computers is secure in the event of loss or theft of the computer,” he said. “Government legislation has helped focus the minds of IT managers to the area of security and data protection. BeCrypt is actively working with the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister’s Project Nomad e-government mobility security initiative and Plymouth City Council is taking the lead in providing a secure environment while protecting critical personal information.”

DISK Protect has been designed to be easy to install using a simple step through Wizard and can be remotely deployed using standard network management tools such as Microsoft’s Active Directory. Once the PC or laptop is booted up the disk encryption is transparent and the user needs to take no further action – everything written to the hard disk is automatically encrypted and everything read from the hard disk is automatically decrypted with little performance overhead. PDA Protect offers enforced data encryption on removable SD or Compact Flash cards. PDA Protect also enables enterprises to implement user policies for all group PDAs. The software runs on a range of PDAs running Microsoft’s Pocket PC 2002/3 operating systems. All data on both products is encrypted using the Advanced Encryption Standard Algorithm (AES) with 128 bit key size.

About BeCrypt

BeCrypt Limited was formed in 2001 to meet the growing demand for high-level computer encryption products in the international government and corporate marketplace. The company is the UK’s largest supplier of enterprise encryption and security products designed to fully protect all corporate data. BeCrypt products protect customers in a number of key UK government areas including: central and local government, the military and defence sector, law enforcement and transportation. The company also services the commercial sector with key customers in financial services, pharmaceutical, insurance and banking sectors.

BeCrypt’s DISK Protect and PDA Protect products have been designed to meet stringent government security standards and have been approved by the UK Government’s Information Assurance group, the Communications Electronics Security Group (CESG) within GCHQ. This approval ensures BeCrypt products have met the needs of Government level security policy and standards without compromising usability.

BeCrypt has won an award from the Department of Trade and Industry for innovative technology and has patents pending on a number of unique encryption technologies.

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