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Children: Databases

Volume 495: debated on Tuesday 30 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps he is taking to ensure that computers infected with malware are prevented from gaining access to the ContactPoint database. (274317)

[holding answer 11 May 2009]: Before any organisation can connect to ContactPoint they are subject to an accreditation process which ensures that they have in place the necessary regulatory, security and operational requirements. This provides assurance that the use of ContactPoint is subject to appropriate supervision, monitoring and controls.

As part of the accreditation process each organisation must demonstrate that they have appropriate security policies and processes in place for protection from malware, viruses and spyware. They are also required to show that content analysis is performed on incoming and outgoing data, including the virus checking of emails and attachments. These checks will provide assurance that workstations are free from known threats such as malware or spyware before they are used to access ContactPoint and are protected from any future compromise.