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.
“Egress makes secure communication between varied groups much easier. By becoming an Egress user, organisations and individuals immediately become part of the Egress’ trusted network and can start using the software to communicate securely from day one.”
Greg Aitken, ICT Operations Manager at Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, 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 Protect 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: “Egress makes secure communication between such varied groups much easier. By becoming an Egress user, organisations and individuals immediately become part of the Egress trusted network and can start using the software to communicate securely from day one. What is more, Egress Protect 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.”
Commenting on the announcement, Egress UK Sales Manager 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 Egress Protect 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.”
Egress takes a people-centric approach to data security – helping users receive, manage and share sensitive data securely to meet compliance requirements and drive business productivity. Using machine learning, Egress ensures information is protected relative to the risk of a data breach and reduces user friction to ensure smooth adoption.
Trusted by enterprise organisations and governments around the globe, Egress’ award-winning platform provides email encryption, secure file transfer and online collaboration services, as well as risk management, accidental send prevention, and compliance auditing and reporting.
Egress is headquartered in London, with regional offices in the UK, the US, Canada and the Netherlands.