South West fire and rescue services deploy data encryption systems

Dorset fire service will implement first to prepare for the Olympic sailing events

South West Fire & Rescue Services (FRS) is deploying a range of data encryption systems, with some adopted ahead of the Olympics.

Dorset, Wiltshire and Devon & Somerset FRS will all be rolling out the new systems, which include full disk encryption for IL 2 (protect) and IL 3 (restrict) level data, two-factor authentication, removable media encryption and central management.

Dorset FRS will implement the systems first, due to the need to have them in place before the Olympics, as the region is hosting the sailing events. Becrypt has been chosen as the supplier for all the systems.

Dorset FRS is installing Becrypt DISK Protect CPA encryption software on laptops used by key operational staff, including silver level commanders and the Olympics and resilience team. Silver level staff typically manage major incidents.

The second phase of the rollout, which is being managed using Becrypt Enterprise Manager, is providing DISK Protect Commercial for staff dealing with prevention services. Typically, these staff need to share sensitive citizen data, often containing medical or criminal records, with other agencies, such as police and social services. Now, should a laptop be lost or stolen, no data could be accessed, even using specialist tools, said Dorset FRS.

Vikki Shearing, head of information management at Dorset FRS, said: "Using one supplier for all these levels is not only easier to manage, but cost effective, and it has enabled us to meet our deadline to have the system ready before the Olympics."

Wiltshire FRS is expected to start rolling out systems later this month, and Devon & Somerset FRS will follow in August.

In-depth: Black hat vs white hat - the fight for the London 2012 Olympics

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