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Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service protects vulnerable citizens’ data using Egress Switch

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service protects vulnerable citizens’ data using Egress Switch

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Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is one of the UK's largest fire and rescue services, covering a population of over 2.5 million. The service's personnel are located at 41 fire stations throughout the Greater Manchester region and therefore rely on electronic communication to share information with one another, as well as with approved third party agencies within the community. Maximising the effectiveness of service delivery, particularly when working with vulnerable citizens most at risk of fire, often involves the transfer of highly confidential personal information. The organisation was therefore conscious that it needed an encryption solution that could enable them to do this securely.

One of the UK's largest fire and rescue services chooses leading encryption solution to meet data protection legislation and compliance requirements

Damian Parkinson, IT Director at GMFRS, details: "Fire and rescue services are on call 24/7 responding to numerous emergency incidents, including fires, traffic accidents, chemical spills and floods. However, a large proportion of our time is also spent conducting preventative measures, such as identifying and helping individuals at increased risk of harm from fire, as well as delivering community awareness programmes in schools and businesses. Much of this work is carried out in conjunction with approved third parties - police, local authorities, the NHS and social care providers - and so we needed a way to send information quickly and easily, with the ability to encrypt and protect confidential content."

As the only product certified and accredited by UK Government for sharing OFFICIAL and OFFICIAL-SENSITIVE information over the internet, Egress Switch from Egress Software Technologies was a great fit for GMFRS as it enables it to protect confidential information in line with data protection requirements.

Parkinson continues: "As Switch is the only product to obtain CPA certification and Pan Government Accreditation, we knew we could have confidence that it would encrypt and protect the sensitive information GMFRS needs to share. What's more, the solution provides comprehensive audit and control functionality - meaning staff at GMFRS have visibility over who is accessing this information and what they're doing with it. We can set restrictions on when data can be accessed or how it is used, for example, preventing recipients from forwarding or printing highly sensitive information. If necessary, we can also remove access from a secure message for one or more users in real time."

Switch is also free for GMFRS's recipients to use and does not require them to download or install any software. As a result, the fire and rescue service are able to ensure that confidential information is secured in line with data protection legislation throughout the lifecycle of share data.

The final project was jointly delivered to GMFRS by Egress and leading security and infrastructure services partner IP Performance.

Speaking about the announcement Matt Dadd, Account Manager at IP Performance, comments: "In partnership with Egress, we are delighted to be delivering an information security solution to GMFRS that comprehensively fulfils their data protection needs when sharing sensitive information electronically. Fire and rescue services play an integral role in the communities they serve and it is great to see GMFRS using Switch to enhance service delivery, and meet data protection and compliance legislation."

Egress UK Sales Director Kelly McCann adds: "When providing life-saving services, it is crucial for GMFRS's staff to communicate sensitive information effectively and efficiently with each other and with approved third parties. We are pleased to see GMFRS taking the proactive step to secure and control this data when shared electronically using Switch, and look forward to working closely with GMFRS and IP Performance to aid their ongoing security and compliance."

For press enquiries, please contact Spark Communications:

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7436 0420


For more information about Egress Software Technologies, please contact Rebecca Bailey - Marketing and Communications:

Tel: +44 (0) 207 624 8500


About Egress Software Technologies

Egress Software Technologies is the leading provider of hosted and on premise encryption services, designed to secure all forms of electronic information and delivered to customers in the Public and Private Sectors using a single platform: Egress Switch.

As the first and currently only email encryption product and service to achieve both CESG Commercial Product Assurance (CPA) certification and Pan Government Accreditation (PGA), Switch Secure Email enables customers to share highly sensitive information over the internet, without the need to manage external third party credentials. The award-winning Switch portfolio of products also includes Secure File Transfer, Secure Web Form and the latest online collaboration offering, Secure Workspace.

Using patented key management, the platform utilises a unique community-based licensing model known as 'the Egress Trust Network' that consists of paying and free Switch subscribers, who are able share information securely with one another using a single global identity.

About IP Performance

IP Performance delivers internet/networking services and products as well as professional, certified network management and technical support services - 24 hours a day. IP Performance has built a reputation for technical expertise across a range of technologies, and can demonstrate a history of translating technology into solutions for our customers, improving productivity and efficiency, and delivering a real return on investment. Our clients range from the largest telecommunication service providers, to blue-chip corporates, to the education and local government sectors.

About Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service is one of the largest Fire and Rescue Services outside London with over 2,100 members of staff and 41 fire stations. We cover an area of approximately 500 square miles and a culturally diverse population of 2.5 million people.

From modern inner city developments to traditional mill towns, Greater Manchester is made up of ten very different districts - Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan. Our vision is to make Greater Manchester a safer place by being a modern, community focused and influential Fire and Rescue Service.

"IP Performance enabled us to trial the system in a test environment and then between Dubai and Edinburgh. They provided us with full support and fast response to any problems."

Gavin Wilson, Systems Development Manager, Heriot Watt University

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