Cambridgeshire Constabulary has worked with Convergent Network Solutions (CNS) to meet Government requirements regarding confidential networks.

Concern over new Communications Electronics Security Group (CESG) guidelines over cost and time, when Police Forces want to focus energy and resourcing on core police work, led to Cambridgeshire Constabulary taking the opportunity to review its entire network.

The new standards require improved confidentiality and security of data transfer by mid 2010, and demand that specific encryption levels of all internal police force networks adhere to the Government Protective Marking Scheme (GPMS) caveat of restricted or higher; impact level three or above.

Director of ICT at the Constabulary Tracey Hipperson, explained that it used CNS to audit its existing infrastructure, and the process led to the creation of a new confidential network that will meet the strategic requirements of the constabulary for the next ten years.

Hipperson said: “Our whole system was in need of a refresh, so we called in CNS to start with a network audit; this resulted in significant savings on our circuitry alone, through converting a piecemeal approach to one single and effective agreement.

“Our in-house team then worked with CNS to identify the issues within the network and we decided upon a complete revamp which would ensure the Cambridgeshire network was up to the challenges of 21st century policing.”

Using a combination of new Cisco software and upgrading existing technology, CNS were able to deploy FIPS encryption to manage risk without the need for additional and costly architecture.

Paul Rose, director of strategic development at CNS, said: “We like a straightforward solution to a problem at CNS. It is apparent to us that CESG guidelines can be followed through judicious use of firewalls and existing encryption software, such as that provided by Cisco's ASA range.

“It's about adhering to best practice and using levels of encryption that are already part of existing packages.”