The need for extremely secure remote access to email and other computer applications could not have been more urgent. It happened last July 7, when a series of terrorist bombings in central London killed more than 50 and injured many more.
The bombings – the worst terrorist attack in Europe since the 2004 Madrid subway bombings – took place during an important meeting of leaders of the Group of Eight (G8) nations at the Scottish golf resort of Gleneagles.
The July 6-8 meeting brought together U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, French President Jacques Chirac, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, and U.S. President George W. Bush.
While the G8 leaders pushed ahead with their important agenda topics – which included assistance to Africa, global climate change and the Middle East – the bombings were a crisis that needed to be dealt with. Tony Blair, who hosted the summit, temporarily left Gleneagles in order to meet with authorities in the British capital to deal with the crisis and its aftermath.
As it happened, the job of providing the secure communications infrastructure and other “backoffice” ICT and computer support for the summit was the responsibility of Perth & Kinross Council, the local government council, which worked closely with Enforce Technology, a systems integrator specialising in secure networking.
In preparation for the global summit, Perth & Kinross Council had selected its own SSL VPN (Secure Sockets Layer Virtual Private Network) solution to provide extremely secure access to email and other applications. The product chosen – the AEP Netilla Security Platform from AEP Networks, Hemel Hempstead, U.K. – was selected for its high level of security combined with ease of use and quick deployment.
For the 2005 G8 Summit many different agencies and organisations were called upon to work closely together, requiring not only first class ICT systems but also systems that would operate securely. As the majority of back end servers and applications were deployed at Perth & Kinross Council there was a requirement for secure remote access so that key personnel, could gain access from other locations including the Media Centre at Gleneagles Hotel and various Command Centres.