News Analysis

Case Study: Data encryption at the Salvation Army

Warwick Ashford

The Salvation Army in the UK supports flexible working from home using laptops owned by the charity, but says finding a good way of protecting data was a challenge.

"Media coverage focusing on the downside to flexible working practices, where employees may leave laptops on trains or in their car boots to be easy targets for thieves, has underlined the threat of data leakage and provided a solid business case for investing in a secure network," said Neil Edmonds, IT operations manager at the charity.

The Salvation Army's IT department is responsible for supporting 7,000 users and 18 divisions across the UK and Ireland operation including the territorial headquarters, regional offices, social and community care centres and numerous remote workers

The charity's IT department did a thorough review of the marketplace, but most data protection products were disappointing, he says: "They were often clunky, difficult to use with high maintenance overheads."

After shortlisting two products for securing the data on the charity's more than 1,000 laptops, simplicity and value were the final deciding factors in favour of Becrypt, says Edmonds.

The product offered the required superior encryption levels at a good value price, which is essential for a not-for-profit organisation, and it was easy to install, configure and manage, he says.

The Salvation Army opted for Becrypt's DISK Protect full disk encryption software together with the company's Enterprise Manager security management suite to enable remote deployment and ongoing management from a central location.

"Being government-approved, Becrypt's solution gave us tremendous assurance that we were partnering with a technology supplier that took compliance issues very seriously," said Edmonds.

The IT team was confident entrusting Becrypt with sensitive data that is central to running the charity's many campaigns around the globe, knowing it is safe even if a laptop goes missing or ends up in the wrong hands, he says.

The assurance that the charity's data is completely protected, says Edmonds, takes off the pressure and enables the IT team to devote more time to future IT projects.

One of the future projects is creating a robust, secure framework that will allow users, even those working in some of the most sensitive parts of the business, to use their own devices for work purposes.

The IT team is considering Becrypt's Trusted Client, designed to turn an unmanaged laptop into a secure remote access point.

Enabling people to do work on their own devices will further enhance flexible working options across the Salvation Army, says Edmonds.

The IT department plans to use Becrypt's Trusted Client in conjunction with a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Virtual Private Network (VPN) gateway. This means users will boot their own PC or laptop from the Trusted Client device and then connect to a services portal to access Salvation Army data.

"I like the fact that Trusted Client can be installed on a broad range of thin-client devices to provide a full end-to-end encryption solution that effectively isolates a user's own equipment from corporate services," said Edmonds

Giving staff the option to bring their own personal IT equipment into the workplace and safely connect to the network and access resources quickly and securely, he says, gives users complete freedom of choice and drives down capital costs at the same time.

Download a whitepaper on this topic: Using consumer mobile devices at work: who is liable?


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