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Departmental Data Protection

Volume 489: debated on Tuesday 10 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether his Department uses WPA2 encryption protocol on all its wireless networks. (259816)

The Department for International Development follows CESG guidance on the use of the Wi-Fi protected access 2 (WPA2) communications security protocols in order to protect wireless networks carrying protectively marked (up to RESTRICTED/IL3) traffic. The configuration and operation standards for WPA2 are set out in CESG's Infosec Manual Y, Use of WPA2 wireless security in Government systems.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what scanning for vulnerabilities his Department conducts of each of its IT devices; what method is used for IT device scans; and how many vulnerabilities have been detected as a result of such scans in the last 12 months. (259819)

It is not in the interest of the security of the Department for International Development, or that of the public, to disclose detailed information pertaining to electronic breaches of security of the Department’s IT systems. Disclosing such information would enable criminals and those who would attempt to cause disruptive threats to the Department to deduce how to conduct attacks and therefore potentially enhance their capability to carry out such attacks.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what IT security policy his Department has; what procedures are in place to ensure the policy is being followed; what his Department's policy is on encryption of data when they leave departmental premises; and what sanctions are in place for failure to comply with this policy. (259850)

Information is a key asset to Government and its correct handling is vital to the delivery of public services and to the integrity of HMG. The security policy framework, the data handling report and the national information assurance strategy produced by the Cabinet Office provide a strategic framework for protecting information that Government handles and put in place a set of mandatory measures which Departments must adhere to.

The Department for International Development is compliant with the security policies contained in the Government security policy framework, including those for information security and assurance.

Depending upon the circumstances, a range of sanctions are available including disciplinary or administrative action, and in extreme or persistent cases, termination of employment/services and, if appropriate, criminal proceedings.