NI department takes healthy approach to email security


30 Sep 2005

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The Northern Ireland (NI) Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety has deployed a complete suite of IT security solutions that covers 25,000 health network users.

The department has procured a licence for Sophos security tools to defend the Health and Personal Social Services (HPSS) networks against viruses, spam, Trojans, worms and spyware. The three-year licence covers the department’s Directorate of Information Systems (DIS) and 27 HPSS sites. The software installation was carried out by Foursys, a Sophos business partner.

DIS is part of the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety in NI. Its remit involves ensuring that health and social care makes effective use of ICT services.

It chose multi-layered security software in response to rising use of email and the web within the Department. DIS said it was vital for health service organisations to ensure the integrity of their systems, so that patients could be confident that any personal information they reveal would be secure.

DIS also extended its licence to include email gateway protection for each of the 27 HPSS sites. Selected sites are also upgrading to Sophos’s secure messaging system PureMessage, which is installed at the email gateway and gives high levels of virus, spam and spyware protection.

Kieran McConville, HPSS network manager at DIS, commented: “Ensuring the security of electronic service delivery is paramount – Sophos’s email gateway and spam protection provide an important part of the measures required to secure the integrity of sensitive information.”

Following the installation, Foursys has provided ongoing workshop training and support for IT administrators at DIS, who can also take advantage of Sophos’s own customer support service.

In doing this DIS is fulfilling the department’s responsibilities in relation to ICT within the range of organisations that make up the Health and Personal Social Services (Trusts, Boards and Agencies) and other health and social care priorities.

By Gordon Smith