Council secures children's services with Becrypt 'computer on a stick'

Cheshire West & Chester deploys 300 tVolution Mini devices to tie together multiple agencies

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The intriguing tVolution Mini ‘computer on a stick’ launched by British security firm Becrypt in April has been adopted by Cheshire West & Chester Council to boost security and coordinaiton in its child protection services.

The devices will be deployed for all 300 employees involved in the work, including police, schools and doctors in addition to the Council’s children’s services department, helping to tie together what might otherwise be disparate roles.

The tVolution Mini is a simple thin-client computer that can be plugged into a monitor or TV set and which delivers a managed set of cloud applications via VPN such as Citrix, VMware and Microsoft RDP in a more security-conscious way than is possible using PCs.

Running on top of Android to minimise oevrhead, the device is still powerful enough to use a quad-core ARM chip, have 2GB of RAM and integrated Wi-Fi, and be able to enforce encryption with remote management.

In the case of Cheshire West and Chester Council, the device will offer access to a dedicated MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) application that handles child contacts, referrals, and assessments.

“tVolution Mini provides an easy to use, practical solution, is cost effective and enables information to be accessed safely and securely, reducing the risks of data being shared inappropriately,” said the Council’s Integrated early support senior manager, Sonia Bassey.

“We can share up to date information amongst the key parties, which helps us to act faster and protect those children who may be at risk,”

The deployment is an unusual case of a public sector organisation adopting a new technology not to replace an obsolete one but attempt something new.

Children’s services in the UK have struggled with multi-agency systems that allow secure access without adding cost and complexity.

“The PSN (Public Service Network) guidelines dictate that access to a Council’s infrastructure must only be through a secure managed endpoint. For Cheshire West & Chester Council this posed a real challenge, for which tVolution Mini was the only solution that solved the key challenges of security, cost and usability, said Dave Hudson, managing director of the Council’s shared services venture, CoSocius.

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