Lancashire police install new audit and security software

Coming into effect next month, the ACPO Information Systems Community Security Policy lists "protective monitoring" as a control UK police forces must score against to comply with the policy matrix. According to Manchester-based 3ami, around 7,000 civilian and police computer users across the region will see their IT interactions, using desktop and mobile terminals, logged at all times.

The firm says its software will co-ordinate and corroborate Lancashire Constabulary's existing auditing facilities into one within a single auditing framework.

Commenting on the software, Detective Superintendent Martyn Leveridge said that, before it was installed, the force's existing auditing capabilities were application-based.

"Therefore, any activity conducted other than via the user interface – such as database file transfers, printing, screen captures and copying onto external data devices – was not capable of being monitored", he said, adding that the MAS software provides a single solution to these problems, binding together existing application-based auditing.

According to Leveridge, the security and leakage of information has been identified in a number of national police assessments as being the greatest threat to operational security and integrity.

"Recent HMIC reports have made recommendations that all internal police computer systems should be made capable of auditing and being audited themselves, in order to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of sensitive information. The MAS installation is our cornerstone for achieving this", he said.

"We expect that the implementation will ultimately result in a cost-saving, not just in the typical productivity sense, but also in the preventive message it sends out to the users of force computer systems", he added.

"It will provide us with the ability to resolve allegations of systems misuse more quickly and with more certainty, and allow the public additional confidence that systems are in place to protect data."

Tim Ellsmore, 3ami's managing director, noted that MAS is an essential tool for enforcing the laws of a digital network.

"Police forces that do not monitor and audit activity on their network's computers have no real way of knowing what officers and civilian staff are doing on their computers, let alone their portable terminals, which are becoming increasingly prevalent", he said.

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