Measures in place to keep Scotland’s historical land registers safe in the digital age
Independent IT adviser FarrPoint has helped the Registers of Scotland government department gain its Cyber Essentials accreditation as it moves to becoming an entirely digital organisation.
Registers of Scotland is responsible for keeping public registers of land, property and other legal documents across Scotland. This includes the world’s oldest national land register, the General Register of Sasines, which was created in 1617 as a chronological list of land deeds throughout the country. It is gradually being replaced by the map-based Land Register of Scotland, which is due for completion by 2024.
The high-demand service receives 750,000 applications to the registers every year, as well as over 175,000 first-line information requests, so efficiency of organisation and robust protection of sensitive and personal data is critical.
As a public service, Registers of Scotland is also required to adopt Cyber Essentials, the new standard approach to cyber resilience across Scottish public bodies. The scheme helps organisations to apply appropriate organisational structures, policies and process in order to manage cybersecurity risks.
To achieve this, Registers of Scotland enhanced its range of security tools and processes across five technical control themes covering firewalls, secure configuration, user access control, malware protection and patch management.
FarrPoint began by conducting independent assessments of Registers of Scotland’s existing IT environment against the requirements of the Scottish Government’s Cyber Resilience Strategy and action plan. FarrPoint made a series of technical and practical recommendations, and then managed the final Cyber Resilience assessment process on behalf of Registers of Scotland.
The project forms part of Registers of Scotland’s broader digital strategy, which includes the Digital Discharge Service – an initiative that aims to remove extensive paper and manual processes associated with the management of records.
Keeper of the Registers of Scotland, Jennifer Henderson, said: As an organisation with a rich heritage to protect, it is vital that our digitisation strategy continues to put data protection and cyber resilience first – as well as enabling us to provide a high-quality service to hundreds of thousands of users every year. FarrPoint’s independent technical assurance has been invaluable in helping us shore up our defences and create a digital strategy for the years ahead.“
FarrPoint’s co-founder Dr Andrew Muir said: “Achieving this certification is not just about putting a range of security measures in place; it is also about being able to clearly demonstrate and prove those measures and evolve them over time. FarrPoint will continue to help Registers of Scotland, Government and other public services adapt and implement their digital transform goals whilst at the same time ensure their services are delivered using a cyber resilient infrastructure.”