industry news Monday 15 May 2023 @ 16:23 How the UK’s Largest Public Service Department Harnessed the Value of SysTrack Data

The Department for Work and Pensions’ use of Lakeside to protect devices was shortlisted for a Smarter Working Live award

Like many organisations at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the UK Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) quickly pivoted to enable employees to work from home. However, the transition was made more complex because of the sensitive citizen data DWP handles.

The government agency needed a non-intrusive solution that could provide accurate, real-time data from its IT estate. Partnering with Lakeside Software, DWP was able to find a solution that met all of its requirements and more. In fact, the project was so innovative, it was recently shortlisted for GovNewsDirect’s Smarter Working Live award for “Harnessing SysTrack Data to Protect Government Assets.”

The Challenge

DWP is responsible for the UK’s welfare, pensions, and child maintenance policy. It is the biggest public service department in the UK as it administers the State Pension and a range of working age, disability, and ill health benefits to around 20 million claimants and customers.

Because of its important mission, senior DWP leadership knew it needed a fail-safe solution to alert them to:

  • When a DWP issued device was being used in a country other than the UK
  • Who the primary user of that device was
  • Whether the user had prior permission to be take their device abroad
  • Whether the user was utilising a personal anonymous proxy

The solution also had to be non-intrusive, auditable, and GDPR compliant. DWP needed a platform it could deploy quickly in response to the change in workforce due to the pandemic.

The Solution

Lakeside’s SysTrack, the core technology driving its digital experience man-agement platform, gathers and analyses data on everything that may impact end-user experience and business productivity, and provides the unmatched visibility IT teams need to design and support rapidly changing digital workplaces.

DWP and Lakeside leveraged the SysTrack agent that was already deployed on all DWP devices to collect IP addresses for each active connection and the connection date/time, using the data to cross-reference this information with publicly available records to identify the country where the asset was currently located.

Building a custom dashboard, DWP and Lakeside were able to collate the data, map devices to countries, and display relevant insights in a single location.  This solution has resulted in DWP’s security and asset management teams being able to identify where DWP data is being put at risk and address those risks.

An investigation can be launched on the back of the dashboard analysis to understand whether data is being put at risk and take steps to lock out the device or disable network connectivity and authentication for that user until a time they are able to access from the UK. It can also identify those cases where a device is in the UK but being used on a personal network that is utilizing a VPN that terminates in a foreign country.

DWP compared use of SysTrack to solve the digital workplace challenge with other geolocation and authentication tools. However, none of these legacy tools could provide the same level of data, accuracy, and information with the same level of granularity that SysTrack did. It has now become the principal tool for data evaluation and location information within the DWP.


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The Recognition

DWP’s use of SysTrack to gain visibility into its IT estate and protect sensitive data has stood out as an innovative use of technology. Annually, GovNewsDirect recognizes public sector organisations that are leading the way in harnessing the value of data.

This elite award is for organisations which have demonstrated excellence in building data into decision-making, understanding threat factors, and ensuring safeguards are in place to maximize the responsible use of data. DWP is among the shortlist of only six organizations recognized for leadership in this category this year.

Award winners were announced March 23 at an event at Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester.

To learn more, watch this session featuring Lakeside and DWP focused on “The Principal Tool for Data Evaluation at DWP.”

 

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