The Power Of Two: Secure Messaging In A Modern Defence Environment

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Defence organisations encompass two very different communication environments. Military messaging takes place within live operational environments, and might involve messages passing between different operations and forces, for example, over closed systems and networks. This type of communication must follow strict security procedures and protocols, and conform to stringent standards, as must the classification of the emails and data being shared both internally and with other nations’ defence organisations.

Alongside this, staff across the organisation are sending messages and creating data as part of the day-to-day ‘business as usual’. This could be anything from emailing a supplier to order more stationery for head office, to a sales representative adding new details to a customer record. Information that falls into this category also needs to be classified, controlled and protected.

Many defence organisations are currently reviewing the messaging tools they use, as they transition from existing X.400 systems to a more modern communications infrastructure, and there’s an increasing appetite for moving to commercial, proven off-the-shelf SMTP-based solutions and adhering to the new NATO standards.

‘Integration’ may be the current buzzword in the IT world, but we believe that the best approach is to deploy two separate but complementary solutions that each address a specific environment, application and user base.

Boldon James’ SAFEmail® solution, for instance, is well-suited to military and intelligence applications, and has been used by customers in the defence market for 25 years. It’s a robust and tried and tested tool, but one that’s also at the forefront of messaging technology. In addition to current international standards and protocols, the latest version has been future-proofed to comply with the new data protection and labelling standards being introduced by NATO, which we were involved in a consultation on. SAFEmail® is able to support both legacy X.400 and new systems, and can be customised to meet requirements.

An enterprise solution such as Classifier can then be deployed alongside a military messaging tool such as SAFEmail®, as a common platform to be used by the entire organisation for classifying ‘everyday’ emails and data. Classifier is structured for secure environments, and complies with industry standards and protocols, but is suited to non-operational activities with a more flexible labelling functionality that can be aligned to how the organisation works, and is currently deployed in live Top Secret level systems.

Procuring both systems from the same vendor has its advantages. The organisation will be assured the same high level of performance across all communication environments, with every message sent protected to military standards. There are also benefits to dealing with a single company, including smoother deployment, consistent support and lower cost of ownership.

Most important of all is that the vendor has a long history of service in military environments, and a profound understanding of both military and enterprise infrastructures.

Contact us now to further discuss how these solutions can change the way you are protecting your sensitive and mission critical data.