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News

Data protection from Lumension for Lancashire health service

Lumension Security : 01 October, 2008  (Application Story)
NHS trust in north of England chooses Lumension Security Sanctuary Data Protection to prevent losses of sensitive information
The prevalence of high-profile data leakage incidents in the public sector has prompted Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust to look for a solution to secure data that is transferred and stored on USB devices. The trust, which employs 3,500 staff and provides mental health and substance misuse services across Lancashire, chose Lumension Security Sanctuary Data Protection solution to take control of its USB ports by assigning user access rights, blocking any unauthorised attempts to download data and encrypting all downloaded data.

With a directive to ensure that all USB memory sticks holding the trust's data are encrypted, Lancashire's Data Security Officer Alan Boardman held an amnesty on all USB sticks that had previously accessed the network. Once these rogue devices had been collected, Lumension Security Sanctuary Data Protection was rolled out across the trust and employees were issued with an officially sanctioned USB memory stick for storing and transporting work data. Sanctuary enables IT managers to create a "whitelist" of approved devices that are allowed to connect to the network, blocking any device that is not authorised. Equally, all data transferred to the USB device is encrypted for safe use and can be transported without the fear of exposing confidential data to unauthorised users.

Alan Boardman comments: "We were specifically looking for a centralised data protection solution that automatically enforced encryption. Lumension Security's solution provides this, as well as an impressive level of granularity that the competition didn't. We can drill down into the access permissions of a particular device model, serial number or named employee, and have complete control over movement of data to and from all USB devices. The trust's directive has been fulfilled and we now have the guarantee that all data stored on USB devices is encrypted and cannot be accessed if a thumb drive is lost or stolen."

Boardman's IT team can assign read/write access per individual user for each officially sanctioned USB device that connects to the network. Lumension Security Sanctuary Data Protection also allows the team to centrally shadow and log all usage of USB memory sticks for auditing and compliance purposes, giving Lancashire a record of exactly what data has been downloaded to and from what USB devices.

"Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust was quick to recognise that data stored on USB devices was a big risk factor," comments Andrew Clarke, senior vice president of International for Lumension Security. "With Lumension Security Sanctuary Data Protection solution, the trust doesn't have to worry about loss of reputation through an employee losing a memory stick, which may contain confidential corporate information. Lancashire Care is a forerunner in the public sector in its approach to securing and controlling the movement of sensitive data on and off its network."

The trust is also applying the Lumension Security Sanctuary Data Protection 'whitelisting' to additional removable storage devices such as digital cameras, Dictaphones, and printers. In addition, Boardman is using the solution to disable write access to floppy disks and CD/DVDs across the Trust, whereby data can be read from these media but not written to them.

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