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News

Internet access policy enforcement at Newham NHS

FutureSoft : 09 June, 2009  (Application Story)
The DynaComm i:filter product from FutureSoft is helping to protect Newham health service trust from insider threats stemming from inappropriate web usage
FutureSoft has announced that Newham University Hospital NHS Trust has selected its DynaComm i:filter product to monitor and regulate its IT network and protect its data from malicious web content.

"Despite Connecting for Health addressing IT security concerns for the NHS on a national level, we required a solution to help us combat the risk of security concerns from the 'threat within'," explained Matthew Kopli, ICT Network Manager. "This mainly stems from browsing the web and also users' unencrypted USB sticks, which can contain viruses. With the sensitive information that we handle, we need to make sure that our data is protected."

With its main site in Plaistow, East London, Newham University Hospital NHS Trust is an acute hospital Trust recognised nationally for its work in local healthcare. The Diabetes and Bilingual Health Advocacy teams have both won national Health and Social Care awards and it has been nationally recognised for its work in communications, Patient and Public Involvement and good corporate citizenship. With 4000 employees spread over 30 sites, Newham University Hospital NHS Trust required an effective security solution that didn't interfere with its day-to-day operations.

"We used a number of solutions before, but we had to continually add to block lists, which was extremely time-consuming," continued Kopli. "We therefore evaluated a number of new products and decided on FutureSoft's DynaComm i:filter because of its granular configuration and its ability to reduce the risk of infections quickly and effectively."

FutureSoft's DynaComm i:filter enforces corporate Internet Access policies with rules that are tailored to specific environments. When applied, these rules dictate who and when specific domains can be accessed. With over 13 million categorised websites and the ability to include custom lists, DynaComm i:filter is ideal to manage, monitor, and secure Internet traffic and reduce corporate liability.

Through its unique modular architecture, DynaComm i:filter is able to operate in a wide variety of network topologies, with two types of monitors available to filter and log Internet traffic. The Network Monitor can be installed on any supported 32-bit Windows operating system and acts as a passive packet sampler, identifying which connections to the Internet are allowed, severing those connections that violate rules, and logging activity. The ISA Server Monitor is installed as a plug-in extension to a Microsoft ISA Server and any traffic passing through the ISA Server is filtered and logged by the monitor process. If the server hardware fails in this setup, however, users will not be able to access the Internet.

"FutureSoft's DynaComm i:filter has reduced the threats from the Internet through blocking particular categories and known harmful sites, resulting in less malicious software entering our network through 'dodgy' web sites," concluded Kopli. "The best thing about i:filter is that it passively monitors traffic, so if the server hardware fails, users are still able to access the Internet. This is becoming increasingly important with more Web-based National Applications being rolled out."

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