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Scotland’s sole fire and rescue services provider selects Egress Switch to secure and enhance communication with external partners

Scotland’s sole fire and rescue services provider selects Egress Switch to secure and enhance communication with external partners

Oct 1, 2013
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London – October 2013 – Egress Software Technologies, the leading provider of email and file encryption solutions to blue light organisations, today announces the adoption of Egress Switch by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, the sole provider of these services in Scotland.

Formed in April 2013, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service brings together Scotland’s previous eight fire and rescue services as a single organisation. The service’s 8,000 fire fighters attend more than 90,000 incidents throughout the country annually and are a key component of Scotland’s blue light community. As a result, effective collaboration and secure communication with a wide variety of external third parties is a key part of the service’s role – providing the highest level of life-saving services to their citizens.

Greg Aitken, ICT Operations Manager at Scottish Fire and Rescue, explains: “In order to raise awareness of necessary safety measures and reduce the number of incidents that our fire fighters attend, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service regularly engages with a range of external agencies, such as schools and community groups. In addition, the service also works closely with a variety of partners, including police and ambulance services, as well as local authorities, health boards and housing associations. Much of this work requires sharing sensitive information with these third parties, and consequently we required an encryption solution to protect this data.”

Maintaining the highest level of life-saving services while also managing fiscal restraints resulted in the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service launching a transitional framework to evaluate the best value-for-money email and file encryption solution. “Under the Fire and Rescue framework, we examined our requirement for secure external email capability to allow managers and designated staff to exchange information with partners and other external agencies,” explains Aitken. “Manual data exchange, such as recorded delivery post, was acknowledged as too costly, so staff undertook a procurement exercise to examine all other available options.

“Egress Switch immediately demonstrated it could provide a cost-effective and intuitive solution to our data security needs,” Aitken states. “Although as a blue light organisation we ticked the compliance boxes that would allow us to access GCSX (UK Government Connect Secure Extranet), many of our partners are either on other Government accredited systems, such as the PNN or NHSmail, or don’t have access to them. This made it difficult for staff who needed to share confidential information with multiple organisations on different networks – or even with those who aren’t on a secured network at all.”

Aiken continues: “Switch makes secure communication between such varied groups much easier. By becoming a Switch user, organisations and individuals immediately become part of the Egress Trust Network and can start using the software to communicate securely from day one. What is more, Switch offers domain splitting functionality that means it can be configured to route and split messages based on the domain, so the user does not have to worry about which secure network recipients are on prior to sending a secure message. Consequently, our staff can focus on the real task in hand: helping our fire fighters keep our country safe.”

The final project was jointly delivered to Scottish Fire and Rescue by Egress and leading security and infrastructure services partner SBL.

Commenting on the announcement, Egress Head of UK Sales Kelly McCann declared: “At Egress, we strive to remove the barriers between secure data exchange and business-as-usual. This is never more important than for organisations that provide life-saving services. We are delighted that the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has adopted Switch throughout the country to become part of the Egress Trust Network, ensuring that they share confidential data securely, while also not hindering crucial business processes.”

For more information, contact Rebecca Bailey – Marketing and Communications, Egress Software Technologies:

Tel: 0207 624 8500


About Egress Software Technologies

Egress Software Technologies is the leading provider of email and file encryption software, offering innovative on-demand data security to enable organisations and individuals in the Public and Private Sectors to share confidential information with third parties.

Combining on-premise and hosted cloud infrastructure with patented key management, Egress Switch provides a unique community-based licensing model called the Egress Trust Network. The Network is made up of paying and free Egress Switch subscribers, who are able to share information securely with one another using a single global identity. Delivered as a fully managed service, the Trust Network has grown virally to over 500,000 members.

Used by organisations around the world, integrated desktop and mobile applications ensure easy-to-use software, designed to aid compliance and streamline user workflow.

About Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was established on 1st April 2013, bringing together the collective skills and experience from across Scotland’s previous eight fire and rescue services. The best way to deal with an emergency is to prevent it from happening in the first place, and our role starts long before any 999 call is made. The service works in close partnership with local communities right across Scotland to deliver crucial safety messages in the fight against fire.

When emergencies do occur, our staff are ready and equipped to respond, attending tens of thousands of specialist service and Road Traffic Incidents every year, as well as a wide range of fires. The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s high standards have demanded an-ever increasing commitment to development and our fire fighters continue to be amongst the best equipped and most highly trained in the world. Our aspiration is that by working together for a safer Scotland, we can help reduce the incidence of fire.

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