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Hertfordshire SFX cover image

May 2018

3 minute read

Hertfordshire SFX

An in depth view into the file transfer requirements of Hertfordshire County Council and how Avco's SFX meets them.

The Problem

Despite many data transfer solutions existing, finding one that is both secure and cost effective is not easy. The overheads of a support team, the complexities of existing solutions and the many limitations and security issues found in email software rule out many off-the-shelf products. Hertfordshire County Council requires a complete solution that allows them to exchange sensitive data with their clients, suppliers or any other third-party they are working with. The solution must handle all the intricacies of guaranteeing secure transfer of data without burdening the user with anything technical. The emphasis is on ensuring data confidentiality while providing an intuitive user experience.

The Approach

Hertfordshire, as an existing client, expressed interest in a solution for the problem of secure file transfer. With their expertise in this area, Avco Systems saw the value of such a product and the impact it could have for many of their existing clients. Avco developed SFX as an internal product while still providing a solution that would assist Hertfordshire. Avco examined Hertfordshire’s needs with them, outlined a set of requirements and provided a tangible product specification that they were happy for Avco to proceed with. Working very closely with the client, Avco takes an agile approach to the development process; consisting of short cycles of work being reviewed by the client regularly. This ensures that the functionality accurately addresses customer requirements; it also allows for any change in requirements to be highlighted earlier in the development lifecycle. Due to the importance of data confidentiality the solution deals with all data securely; everything from the subject and body of the transfer to the contents of files uploaded is encrypted and transferred over secure channels and safeguarded by a secure login process. Ensuring that users can access and work with the service, without having to lean on a support team, is also an important aspect of delivering a solution that fits the client’s requirements; as such Avco worked to streamline the sign-up process for accounts from pre-approved domains. Allowing internal users to create their own accounts and invite external users, such as suppliers or clients, to utilise the system also means that there is no need for a third party or helpdesk to handle account creation. Avco also provides usage reports to elevated users. The reports supply a high-level view of the system and provide a high level of visibility; allowing decision makers to see how the system is being utilised and by who. This transparency allows them to better make decisions on any future product requirements.

The Result

A file exchange portal that allows all users to securely exchange sensitive data between customers and their associated third-parties. SFX is the go-to solution for numerous local authorities and has been in use by Hertfordshire for over 3 years. Avco Systems reliably delivers client-requirement driven updates that provide additional value to all SFX users. Implementing an API to allow for more diverse interaction capabilities with the service and adding file scanning prior to upload to ensure file integrity are among the many ways SFX has evolved.

What the customer said

“SFX or HertSFX has not only helped us ensure confidentiality, integrity and availability of sensitive information across network and technology barriers. It has provided significant saving in distributing committee papers, conveying children records, making legal submissions and reviewing CAD/CAM images.” - Jaswant Golan, Technical Security Officer at Hertfordshire County Council