Cambridgeshire County Council is now able to share data with public sector organisations in a way that is fast, secure and simple.
LGSS is responsible for providing a variety of professional and transactional services to local authorities and other public sector organisations, such as finance, IT and legal services.
Cambridgeshire itself administers 60 electoral divisions in the county and comprises five districts represented by 69 elected councillors.
It works in partnership with other public services in the area such as the Police and NHS.
Communication between public sector organisations is absolutely essential and data is often shared via the Government Connect Gateway or a generic FTP solution.
However, many employees at Cambridgeshire felt that such methods were “clunky,” inefficient and awkward to use.
Data held by the public sector is also often of a sensitive nature and must be shared securely if it is shared at all, something traditional file sharing options did not offer the council.
“Awareness of security has increased significantly and we always have to consider best practices, educating users and our shared responsibility for maintaining the privacy of the data we handle,” claimed Alan Shields, IT architect team manager at the local authority.
“We could be sharing information about an elderly member of the community’s care package, or perhaps a child’s education record.
“We handle varied but equally confidential information that always demands our close attention to privacy and security over and above any standard email protection precautions,” he added.
Cambridgeshire and LGSS realised they needed to adopt a much secure, managed file transfer solution and turned to supplier Ipswitch to help them.
The organisations required something that could easily be taken up as the go-to solution for secure file transfers to third-parties, prevent the leak of any sensitive or confidential information and require little or no user training.
The chosen solution must also ensure complete visibility for files moving between the council and third-parties, meeting any regulatory guidelines set by the Information Commissioner’s Office and enable a more efficient ad-hoc route for the general sharing or large or numerous files.
“The major challenge was to find a way to protect and share our top-tier data with other stakeholders, whether that meant with the Police, social services or another council,” claimed Mark Holman, Cambridge Public Services Network (CPSN) architect.
“We also needed a system we could trust, that users would be keen to adopt and which would give us the confidence to transfer large files or sensitive data quickly, easily and in a totally secure and traceable manner,” he added.
Ipswitch decided its MOVEit File Transfer server had a suitable user-friendly web interface, while its MOVEit Ad Hoc could allow Cambridgeshire to deliver secure, efficient email attachments.
Ipswitch was able to get its file transfer solutions up and running at Cambridgeshire within just a few days.
The Council and LGSS are now able to reliably and securely share data across the region and user feedback has been very positive.
“It’s easy to underestimate the lack of user training required. We didn’t have to write up a great deal of information to help users to understand the new system, and there was no need for extensive training sessions. They just picked it up and ran with it, because it’s very intuitive,” claimed Shields.
“The bottom line is that the council now has up to 4000 users who are able to send more data more securely,” added Holman.
“We can send large files that would normally be blocked by an average email system and we have complete audit trails for everything.
“Previously we had no real control and the only secure alternative for multiple files of 10GB and above was a complex, lengthy and expensive combination of couriers and encrypted CDs,” he claimed.