Zen Internet has been awarded Public Service Network (PSN) accreditation for its IP VPN product, allowing the independent connectivity provider to offer services to public sector organisations including local authorities and NHS hospitals.
PSN accreditation recognises that Zen’s infrastructure and protocols are sufficiently robust and secure to safely carry sensitive public sector data. To demonstrate this, Zen had to achieve CESG Assured Service (Telecoms) certification – known as CAS(T) – and undergo a thorough IT health check.
CAS(T) is evidence that a network is built, operated and managed in a way that meets rigorous standards for security and availability. In effect, the certificate gives Zen trusted supplier status for public service contracts.
Jon Bauer, Zen’s technical director, said: “We have worked very hard to achieve PSN accreditation and it’s credit to the whole Zen team that we achieved it so quickly.
“It’s important for Zen firstly because it will give us the opportunity to support a whole new sector – public sector customers. But what is equally important is that it shows all our customers – public and private – how seriously we take the security of their information and data. Our network, and the management that supports it, have achieved the high standards expected of a public sector supplier.”
The Cabinet Office states that to successfully achieve PSN compliance telecoms companies must “demonstrate to us that your infrastructure is sufficiently secure that its connection to the PSN would not present an unacceptable risk to the security of the network.”
In practice, that means Zen’s compliant infrastructure meets requirements for the monitoring and patching of vulnerabilities, that it is securely configured against viruses and spyware and that the system is governed by a sensible system of privileges and policies. Protective monitoring and intrusion detection is in place, alongside an incident response policy designed to mitigate harm quickly and effectively. Access to the network is controlled by stringent authentication and access control measures.
“Being able to trust the companies that carry digital data is only going to become more important in future, so to achieve PSN accreditation now is great for Zen and reassuring for customers old and new” adds Jon.
PSN accreditation comes on the back of a major investment in Zen’s core network, and a significant expansion of the company’s on-net presence. Taken together, these investments will create an even more stable and secure network and expand Zen’s robust, cost-effective on-net reach to well over 500,000 postcodes, covering nearly every corner of the UK.