PSN Compliance: “No, We Are Not There Yet”

Sep 29, 2014

Northumberland County Council’s information assurance, quality and security manager Chris Ince has claimed that Public Service Network (PSN) compliance is a “never-ending” journey.

The PSN is a common networking service for the public sector – those connected to the network are able to communicate and share information in a secure environment.

The rigorous security requirements to join the PSN have caused issues in the past, with many local authorities struggling to meet the deadline for compliance, however the last council has now joined the Network.

According to Ince, those responsible for ensuring their organisation is PSN compliant are faced with many challenges, including senior management teams that block the necessary action that needs to be taken.

Overcoming Significant Challenges

Speaking to an audience of central and local government security employees at the Whitehall Media GovSec event last week, he claimed he has faced visits from security regulators in the past and it was a long journey to put things right.

“Are your senior management buying what you’re actually trying to achieve?  Have you actually got their backing? It’s not going to be a simple question, we all know that,” claimed Ince.

He added that security is not a point in time, it is a journey and continual process where embedding a security culture is essential.

Work on a daily basis is needed to meet changing compliance requirements, Ince said, and staff must be trained in this area.

However, Northumberland Council is now well on its way on its security journey, claimed Ince, with better approaches and solutions to the problems they face.


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