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Sussex Health informatics service choose Sophos in joined-up NHS IT Security initiative

December 2007 by Marc Jacob

Sophos announced that Sussex Health Informatics Service (HIS), which provides IT services to all eleven NHS trusts in the Sussex region, is deploying Sophos’s security and management solutions to consolidate and strengthen IT security across the board. The rollout, which is due for completion in December 2007, will protect 25,000 users and will replace a range of disparate solutions from different vendors, including McAfee, Symantec and Trend Micro, thereby streamlining efficiency and reducing costs whilst increasing functionality and raising defences.

Set up to consolidate the IT operations of eleven trusts, Sussex HIS is currently in the process of standardising on best-of-breed technology, and has recognised that security is a crucial component of this overhaul. The decision was taken to deploy a complete and consolidated security solution, provided by a single vendor, not only to fend off dangerous malware attacks, but also to ease pressure on IT staff by simplifying management and to significantly reduce costs.

After a full tendering process, Sophos was chosen ahead of competitors due to its understanding of the organisation’s complex business and IT requirements, as well as its comprehensive, round-the-clock support offering. Sophos Endpoint Security and Control, which combines anti-virus protection with a client firewall, is being deployed to protect Sussex NHS trusts’ desktops against viruses, Trojans, worms, spyware, adware, potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) and hackers. Additionally, Sophos Email Security and Control will protect the trusts against spam and email-borne malware, scanning all inbound, outbound and internal messages at the email gateway before they can enter the network.

"We’re delighted with the solution Sophos is putting in place, which is completely in line with our complex operational requirements," said Steve Orman, Head of IT at Sussex HIS. "Consolidating the IT security of eleven separate trusts is a tall order. However, Sophos has risen to the challenge impressively. The high level of support the company offers also gives us peace of mind that no matter what security situation may arise, we’ll be able to handle it and easily fend off any attacks."

With Sophos Endpoint Security and Control, Sussex HIS will be able to conduct just one scan to detect all kinds of malware, as well as block unauthorised applications such as Voice over IP, instant messaging systems and games – all via a single management console. The trusts will also benefit from the added security of Sophos’s Behavioral Genotype Protection – a proactive intrusion prevention technology that combats zero-day Windows attacks and automatically guards against new and targeted threats by analysing behaviour before code executes.

Sussex HIS will undertake the day-to-day running of the new security system, backed up by Sophos’s 24/7 Platinum support services.

"By consolidating its security solutions, Sussex HIS has bolstered defences at the region’s NHS trusts and removed the need for separate deployments that could have left the network vulnerable to attack," said Andrew Bradshaw, vice president of UK sales and marketing at Sophos. "In addition, for organisations such as Sussex HIS, which have complex infrastructures to maintain and serve large numbers of users at a range of different sites, a centralised management process can help to improve efficiency and dramatically reduce the strain on in-house resources."

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