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Deployment of port security software - Removable Devices

Updated on Monday, 15 February 2021, 160 views

Deployment of port security software

Somerset CCG are taking steps to improve the security around the use of removable media devices (such as USB sticks, memory cards and other intelligent devices), and mitigate the risk of cyber-attack, data loss or the transfer of viruses / trojans by blocking data transfer for unauthorised devices.

Starting on 26 February SCW will deploy port control software to your PC or laptop. In this first stage of the roll-out the software will be set to ‘listening’ mode; you should not notice anything different during this time. At the end of the ‘listening’ mode phase, which will run for approx. 6 weeks, CCG and SCW colleagues will review the data logs before proceeding to ‘blocking’ mode when the software will deny access to unauthorised devices (we will let you know when that’s happening).

Detailed below is what you need to know.

What is port control software?

Port control software monitors and blocks unauthorised removable media to prevent loss of data or transfer of viruses. This means when you connect a removable media device the software will log details of that device in order for the CCG and SCW to understand what types of device are being connected. Important note: no data held on the device or details of the user, beyond usernames, are captured.

How will it affect me?

In the first stage of the roll-out, the software will be deployed in ‘listening’ mode. This means that details of devices connected during this time will be logged and data will be collated centrally. You shouldn’t notice anything different, apart from the new traffic light icon in the pop-up list of applications (found if you click the upward arrow on the taskbar in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen). 

In the second phase, when we switch the software to ‘blocking’ mode, you’ll notice that accessing data held on unauthorised removable media devices is blocked. Based on the data logged as part of the ‘listening’ mode phase, the CCG will decide which devices are globally authorised (‘whitelisted’). Therefore, we request that during this phase you connect all work-related devices to your PC or laptop at least once, so that they appear on the data logs and can be reviewed for whitelisting. This includes while you are working from home – to avoid having your devices blocked please be sure to connect them while at home to be sure they are recorded. Devices that are deemed not to be safe at the end of the listening mode phase will not be whitelisted.

All USB ports will remain open for charging purposes. If once the ‘blocking’ phase has begun you find you cannot access a device, there will be a formal process to request for it to be whitelisted.

What should I do if I encounter issues when connecting a removable media device, or have questions about the software?

Your Project Managers at SCW are David Till (david.till@nhs.net, 07799 478 204) and James Gibbons (james.gibbons6@nhs.net, 07827 874540). If you have any concerns, issues, questions or just want to understand more about the roll-out, please get in touch.

 

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