NHS Central Eastern CSU investigated the secure remote access solutions available in the market and ran a full tender process to procure the right solution. The mobile working solution from ITHealth was chosen. It comprises Secure-IT software offering strong 2-factor authentication that enables Trust staff to securely access data from wherever they are working, using NHS smartcards, hard tokens, or ‘soft’ phone tokens as a means of authentication. The ITHealth mobile working solution enables Trust staff to access both Trust and N3 applications and information, the internet, and email using a secure mobile VPN connection that safeguards confidentiality. This approach of providing access at the point of care enables ways of working that increase efficiency and can improve clinical outcomes.
NHS Central Eastern CSU chose a typical ITHealth mobile working solution comprising Secure-IT 2-factor authentication software, a combination of hard tokens and NHS Smartcards as the means of authentication, combined with approved EAL4 appliances, with full failover capabilities, to provide firewall, VPN concentrator and intrusion detection, along with full installation, training and ongoing support from ITHealth. The solution was found to be easy to deploy, and to take advantage of, and upgrade, the existing Cisco infrastructure.
In addition to Secure-IT, NHS Central Eastern CSU also chose to invest in the Monitor software which:
- Reduces multiple log-ins for users
- Provides network connectivity management
- Provides intelligent launching of the VPN and application based upon network connectivity
- Provides management information of the user accounts
The decision to award the tender to ITHealth was based upon both knowledge of the proposed solution (Secure-IT already had a presence in Essex) and knowledge of ITHealth as a supplier. ITHealth were already known to NHS Central Eastern CSU as a provider of service excellence having worked together on other IT security projects.
Another reason ITHealth were chosen was that NHS Central Eastern CSU had a desire for more control over service delivery, and ITHealth had a great track record for delivering service; moreover, if there were outage problems then ITHealth had been seen to be reactive, communicative, and hard-working to provide a fix in a timely manner.