Memset, leading British SME supplier of cloud hosting services to the UK public sector has today announced that their government accredited data centre facility is now fully live with its connection to PSN-Protected, the highest level of PSN security.
Driven by a desire to bring the best of commodity public cloud prices to higher government security tiers, Memset invested £1.8m constructing a highly efficient, highly scalable IL4-capable data centre in Dunsfold Park, Surrey which was completed in July 2014.
Supporting the government’s vision for having one network for all UK public sector organisations, Memset went in pursuit of a Public Services Network (PSN) connection in November 2012.
Memset are delighted to now be connected to the PSN-Protected network enabling them to make full use of their facility, intended for high security government data – which they have been largely reserving for that purpose until now.
Kate Craig-Wood, MD of Memset said: “Trying to secure a PSN connection was a surprisingly long process for us and very resource intensive for an organisation of our size. However, we now have a live connection which is an additional USP for an SME like Memset supplying Lot 2 hosting services to the public sector via G-Cloud."
Memset said that whilst a second PSN-connected facility with related security measures is planned, in the interim they are working with customers using multiple suppliers to achieve geographically-diverse high-availability, using PSN as the interlink which was a strong use case as originally envisaged in G-Cloud.
Despite Craig-Wood's belief that GDS are going to phase out PSN-Protected with a longer-term plan to only have one PSN, with PSN-Protected being achieved by using certified encrypted VPNs over the top of the PSN connection, she says, “This is a real shame as the effort that has gone into the PSN-Protected encrypted network has been huge and there are several suppliers like us who have bitten the bullet and the huge cost of hundreds and thousands of pounds to get connectivity, but we do envisage the GDS will be collapsing it in due course.”
She continued, “However as we have seen with the changes to the old IL security markings and the self-certified accreditation programme, many departments are resisting those changes and still looking for the former impact levels and old style technical architecture for their security needs, so there will be a period of transition and an appetite for these high security PSN services.”
In addition, Memset has a number of software developer clients wanting to do work in the OFFICIAL PSN/PSN-Protected space and need access into that environment, but for whom the costs of their own PSN connection would be prohibitive. "There is definitely demand for a managed service allowing users to access PSN-Protected systems via the Internet, perhaps using hardened, managed laptops and certified VPNs," concluded Craig-Wood.