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Nasstar appointed to run new secure network on behalf of UK MoD

New SD-WAN developed for facilities management services provider as it works with Ministry of Defence to support applications ensuring secure connection to public and private cloud

Self-described “transformative” technology provider Nasstar has begun work on a major new contract awarded to facilities management services provider Vinci Facilities to run a new secure network required by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD).

In June 2021, Vinci Facilities was appointed by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) to provide hard facilities management services. The South East Future Defence Infrastructure Services (FDIS) contract awarded to Vinci Facilities provides hard facilities management services for more than 6,200 buildings and infrastructure assets at 59 MoD sites in London and the South East.

It is for an initial seven-year term, with three additional performance-related option years. The contract is worth £1.1bn across the seven years, comprising £423m for the core FM contract and a potential £732m for additional works. The FDIS contract represents a shift in the DIO’s service delivery approach to better manage military built estate across the UK.

By providing a highly secure, resilient network to these 59 sites, Nasstar says it will help Vinci Facilities to deliver on this crucial contract, which has taken effect immediately. Nasstar was appointed after an 11-month tender process, beginning in January 2021. Security was a fundamental criterion of the contract, with Nasstar differentiating itself via a blueprint for a “secure by design solution” to meet Vinci’s security and compliance requirements.

This consists of a secure software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) and network access control (NAC) designed to provide Vinci Facilities with more control on application routing to private and public cloud applications. This will be remotely monitored by the Nasstar incident response team to ensure a further layer of protection and instant support, if needed.

The network and supporting applications will be delivered via a single control pane, with the aim of making it easier to manage. Nasstar is using SD-Branch technology, including a local area network, switches and wireless access points that have already been approved by the MoD. The company says this will provide Vinci with enhanced network access control to better manage user profiles – whether they be Vinci employees, contractors or internet-of-things (IoT) devices.

With a single security and control fabric across the entire estate, Nasstar is confident this will reduce the burden on IT teams while improving overall branch security.

“We see this as the beginning of a strategic partnership between Vinci and Nasstar which will transform the performance and flexibility of our networks across various client sites,” said Ben Paddick business solutions director at Vinci Facilities. “Clearly, for the MoD, security is a critical concern and Nasstar working with Fortinet [as an expert partner] has developed a solution that will enable us to run a more flexible and resilient network that enables us to take advantage of all the benefits that the cloud and IoT devices can bring, with security at its core.”

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