Serving a community of approximately 525,000 people across East Sussex, the Trust is one of the largest organizations in the county employing over 6,000 dedicated staff with an annual turnover of £365 million. With increased use of information technology systems, the Trust has seen a steady rise in request for secure remote access.
Why we chose Pulse Secure
In common with many healthcare providers, the growing use of software based administrative and clinical systems have increased the demand for more flexible secure access technologies to improve productivity while protecting sensitive medical data. With a growing number of devices and requirements for more remote access, many NHS Trusts in particular are looking at ways to streamline secure access while making cost and efficiency savings.
East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust is an example of an organization going through this process with a legacy secure access solution using a growing number of physical tokens along with an incumbent managed service provider that was starting to become less appropriate for its needs. The use of physical two factor authentication tokens was both expensive in terms of hardware and licensing costs as well as more complex to manage when dealing with on-boarding new staff and updating settings in the event tokens were damaged, lost or stolen.
“We did not feel that our legacy solution and managed service was able to address our growing secure access requirements,” explains Dan Lloyd, senior infrastructure engineer at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, “In addition, it was assessed that an upgrade would allow us to make considerable saving in ongoing charges along with use of more self-service tools for user on-boarding and maintenance that would provide additional cost savings in terms of management time without compromising security.”
The IT department began evaluating a number of options and approached Pulse Secure, the vendor of its preferred VPN solution who recommended a number of partners with suitable skills, “We had an initial conversation with ANSecurity and it was clear that they had the right set of skills and had successfully deployed similar solutions at other NHS Trusts,” explains Lloyd.
The Trust approached ANSecurity for guidance on developing a new secure access solution. Working in partnership using ANSecurity’s “co-driver” approach, the Trust’s IT department and teams from ANSecurity managed different aspects of the end to end solution including the design phase, implementation with additional steps such as failover testing, configuration management, bespoke training to support in the adherence to NHS security compliance requirements.
The project included upgrading its VPN infrastructure to Pulse Secure ‘Connect Secure’ 5000 series appliances running in an active/active high availability implementation to cope with a larger number of users accessing services using a wider range of devices.