Secure systems integrator Thales has been awarded a five-year contract to provide secure network connectivity services for the Highways Agency through the government’s Public Services Network (PSN).
The Highways Agency is an executive agency of the Department for Transport and is responsible for operating, maintaining and improving the strategic road network in England.
The aim of PSN is to create a single network, based on industry standards to create a more open and competitive information and communication technology marketplace in the UK public sector.
This means reducing the cost of communication services across government and enabling new, joined-up and shared public services.
Under the contract, Thales will provide a range of services, including network connectivity, encryption security, wide area networks (WANs) and local area networks (LANs), and remote access for employees.
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Thales said the services will enable the Highways Agency to reduce IT costs, improve operation effectiveness, and exploit modern, secure communications that conform to the PSN standards.
The Thales main transmission line or backbone is a secure, accredited network service that will link 49 sites across the UK.
The secure network will enable improved information sharing between Highways Agency sites and support secure voice and improved data communications services.
Thales will manage transformation and migration of all users from their existing network to the new encrypted service.
The company will provide gateway services to ensure the data integrity and security of information, while allowing Highways Agency staff to work more flexibly and efficiently.
Thales will also supply high-security remote access services to enable users to connect securely to the Highways Agency networks from remote or home-based locations.
“Thales aims to be a leading provider of secure network and cyber-security services for UK Government and Critical National Infrastructure,” said Phil Naybour, vice-president of secure communications and information systems at Thales UK.
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“Securing this contract, one of the largest contracts awarded under PSN, helps to confirm Thales as one of the leading providers of PSN connectivity solutions where there is a requirement for enhanced security,” he said.
The PSN programme utilises two commercial frameworks: one for connectivity and one for services. Both the PSN connectivity and the services frameworks are now operational.
As one of the few companies to supply both PSN frameworks, Thales provides a full suite of secure network and cyber-security assessment, audit and assurance capabilities.