MoD deploys first government certified LAN

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) Trading Fund Defence Support Group (DSG) has become the first to benefit from wireless technology under new government security rules.

It has deployed a wireless large area network (LAN) to improve its stores management process at the DSG's Donnington site in Shropshire, which repairs and maintains equipment for the UK armed forces.

The network has been validated using the 'Manual Y' standard, published by the Communications Electronic Security Group (CESG), the UK Government's National Technical Authority for Information Assurance, in January 2007.

The standard details, for the first time, how wireless security should be implemented on 'restricted' level projects and includes processes such as disaster recovery and system configuration, as well as the installation of the wireless technology itself.

As the first UK government organisation to install a CESG validated wireless network, the DSG anticipates it will benefit from significant cost savings through faster fulfilment of spare parts orders and improved accuracy of stock data at the site.

Malcolm Smith, DSG head of information systems, said: "As a supplier of vehicle and equipment services to our armed forces, we are constantly looking at ways to make our organisation run more efficiently. The benefits of wireless are well documented in warehousing environments, so that when CESG published the Manual Y standard, allowing us to implement, we were quick to respond."

IT and business services provider, Logica, worked with Aruba Networks to deliver the system to DSG. Logica then assisted DSG in its discussions with the Defence Security Standards Organisation (DSSO) accreditor to certify the site's wireless network for use with 'restricted live' data.

DSG, the government (MoD) trading fund, was established at the beginning of April with the merger of the former land-based Army Base Repair Organisation (ABRO) and Defence Aviation Repair Agency (DARA) trading funds.