Posted on May 7, 2019 by staff

Why public sector is leaving behind PSN for internet


It was announced a couple of years ago now that the public sector was going to move away from the PSN.

For many organisations, this network was mandated – something you have to traverse to get to the systems and data you need. So, actually, why not use the internet?

The Government Digital Service published guidance on why you should be looking to use the internet back in April this year.

Though security, cloud, lock-in and cost-efficiency will no doubt play a huge part, there’s a whole raft of reasons why the public sector is leaving the PSN for the internet.

Is the internet secure?

It’s not so much that the internet is insecure, it’s the way we use it.

You can mitigate most risks when using the internet to make it more secure and more appropriate for your environment. The NCSC issue some great guidance for public and private organisations on how best to protect your organisation. For example; web traffic filtering, trusted endpoints, network protection, threat and antivirus detection etc. are all great practices to make part of your online strategy.

Using the internet is all about understanding the risks. If you understand them, and implement the correct layers of security and follow good guidance, then the risks are acceptable.

There’s a whole layer of security that still needs to be followed regardless of if you’re using the internet or the PSN, or any other network.

Who owns the risk if the PSN disappears?

When using the PSN, accreditation is owned by the PSN accreditor. The move to the internet is therefore shifting that risk ownership to the end service and the organisation subsuming the services.

Fundamentally, the move gives everyone a lot more responsibility and accountability to make sure the service they provide and those who subsume it are much more secure by design.

Advice to those starting their journey

For any organisations worried about the transition, the PSN isn’t going to disappear overnight. It’s going to take a few years. There will be early movers who will switch to the internet immediately – there are some who already have – but there will be many for whom the process will be a slow one.

One thing that will make your transition much easier is to use a solution provider that can give you connectivity to both the PSN and the internet. This is a great option because you’re supported for each step of the journey away from the PSN.