ViaSat is providing the Defence School of Electronic and Mechanical Engineering (DSEME) with encrypted hard drives for 200 Dell laptops, designed to ensure the security of DSEME laptop data, while providing the best possible level of IT performance and making it simple for DSEME to provision computers for trainees.
As the only hardware encryption provider that is CESG-approved to secure top-secret data at rest, ViaSat hard drives will help DSEME educate and deliver competent and motivated electro-mechanical tradesmen and engineers, electronic technicians and engineers, and technical leaders to the UK armed forces.
“MOD policy states clearly that all our laptops must be protected by an accredited full disk encryption product,” said Brian Brock, Head of Business Support at DSEME. “The hardware encrypted hard drives provided by ViaSat have proved to be a considerable improvement over our previous software encryption solution because the time taken for IT support to prepare and image them is significantly reduced.”
DSEME opted for hardware encryption over similarly-accredited software for two reasons. First, since the encryption is built into the hardware rather than running together with other software, the performance of applications was not affected: meaning trainees would be able to work without delays or interruptions. Second, as many trainees use each DSEME laptop over its lifetime, often switching hands several times over a few months, the ability to quickly delete a user profile and re-set the machine for the next user is crucial.
With hardware encryption, DSEME can simply delete the image of the previous user’s machine and re-install a fresh image with all relevant applications and data for the next user, removing the need to then encrypt the image itself and re-install encryption software. As a result, provisioning laptops for trainees is a much faster and simpler process, saving up to 2 hours per machine each time it is prepared for re-use.
DSEME provides training for the UK armed forces, as well as civilian equipment support staff and Foreign and Commonwealth officers and enlisted personnel. The school trains over 5,000 students a year, in subjects ranging from electronics and vehicle mechanics to Health and Safety and at levels from basic training to degree-level. Due to the nature of its work and the information the trainees can possess, Ministry of Defence regulations state that all data at rest on computers used by DSEME must be encrypted to CESG-approved standards. As a result, when the time came to refresh its laptop estate, DSEME knew that the 200 Dell laptops it was purchasing for training needed to be paired with the appropriate protection.
“Giving our armed forces the peace of mind that information will not fall into the wrong hands together with the ability to do their jobs with the minimum of complications has always been our aim with hardware encryption,” said Chris McIntosh, CEO, ViaSat UK. “We’re the only CESG-approved encryption product for military and government use at the highest levels, and we’re proud to be doing our part.”