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Portsmouth City Council protects email correspondence with Proofpoint

Portsmouth City Council (PCC) has deployed Proofpoint Messaging Security Gateway, an email security appliance equipped with an encryption solution, to protect sensitive information sent via email. PCC recognised a need to securely send information held on its systems, that the Government Connect Secure Extranet (GCSX) – a secure network between central government and local authorities – did not cater for and that was with individuals outside of the pubic sector.

The GCSX provides local authorities with access to a range of databases including the Department of Working Pensions (DWP) and the Police National Network. With such highly sensitive information at stake, data protection is critical.

After evaluating several email security solutions, Portsmouth City Council chose to deploy Proofpoint’s encryption solution through channel partner, Gradian Systems Ltd.

-As a public sector body, we need to be able to exchange sensitive information via email with a variety of end-users safe in the knowledge that we had the highest level of security, -We were searching for a cost-efficient solution to enable our employees to interact securely over email. Proofpoint’s offering fit our requirements perfectly. It’s easy to install, and makes it simple for our staff to send email in a secure and compliant way.

Proofpoint’s email encryption solution automatically encrypts and decrypts sensitive content automatically, without end-users having to take special actions to ensure that confidential or private information is encrypted before being transmitted over the Internet.

-We worked hard to ensure Proofpoint’s email encryption solution integrated seamlessly into Portsmouth City Council’s existing infrastructure, said Damian Acklam, CEO at Gradian Systems Ltd. -It was fundamental that implementation and delivery of the solution didn’t interfere with the council’s critical day-to-day email correspondence.

The solution was originally trialled within the council’s occupational health service to exchange medical information between the council’s occupational health staff and external occupational health staff at surgeries in the area.

Once the trial was approved, the council expanded the solution to other services. Today, secure email transfer is regularly used in correspondence with over 300 landlords, who have properties in the area. Currently the council is rolling out the solution further and it is used to distribute electoral roll information to city councillors, The Electoral Commission, The Boundary Commission for England and the three main political parties.

-With newspaper headlines regularly reporting on incidences of data loss, businesses in both the public and private sector cannot afford to ignore the value of the information they deal with on a daily business, said Dean Hickman-Smith, executive vice-president of worldwide sales for Proofpoint. -By taking on and rolling out a secure messaging solution, Portsmouth City Council is placing its constituents’ privacy at the top of its agenda, and rightly so.

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