It is a ‘network of networks’, built up by joining the networks of various suppliers which have undergone a rigorous accreditation for security, performance and cost, which are then linked together to allow data to flow between them. Each organisation using a PSN is able to separate its own data from that of anyone else by using dedicated ‘layers’ within the network which are defined as for their use only. Additional ‘layers’ can then be created which allows data to be shared between organisations, or multiple ‘layers’ can be delivered down a single network connection to a site where more than one organisation is based, removing the need for expensive multiple connections as was the case of old (See Site Sharing).
Public sector agencies wishing to use the PSN also are accredited to ensure that their security and Information Governance arrangements are strong enough to ensure that data shared with them is handled correctly.
The PSN covers most of Central Government, the Police, Ministries of Defence and Justice, Local Authorities and Fire and Rescue. There are also moves to integrate the NHS network into the PSN in the medium term.
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