Public Sector Link Security Overview
Below is an overview of the Public Sector Link software, delivered by Public Sector Live and powered by MyDocSafe.
Data Protection Act 98 compliance:
- MyDocSafe and Public Sector Live are both registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office
- All client data is held in the European Union (data centre is based in Dublin, Ireland)
- Strict guidelines over which officers are authorised to access client encryption keys and in under what conditions
- Business model is based on subscription fees. Neither Public Sector Live nor MyDocSafe share any data with any third parties without your explicit permission
Secure transfer / storage of files
Communication between users and our servers is secured with TLS 1.2 protocol – all data in between is securely encrypted, preventing eavesdropping and man-in-the-middle attacks. For older browsers, we’re still supporting SSL version 3.0.
The SSL support will be dropped soon due to security reasons. Owners of older browsers will not be able to use MyDocSafe and will be forced to upgrade their software.
Password and authentication
We do not store actual users’ passwords in plain text. Instead, we store results of a mathematical operation on the password using “a hash function” which produces a string of 256 bits of data. It is not possible to revert the hashing operation to guess the password. The only way to learn the original password from its hash is to generate hashes of all possible passwords, like in classic brute force attack. To make it even less possible to guess, all passwords are hashed along with a random string, also known as “salt”. Each session following authentication expires automatically after 10 minutes.
Each user is issued with a public and private encryption key. We encrypt each file we host with a separate symmetric encryption key. This key is then encrypted with users’ public encryption key. Private keys are held on our main server and are encrypted with user’s MyDocSafe’s encryption keys (this option offers least hassle to users – if they forget their password they can reset it using their registered email address).
For asymmetrical encryption, we’re using RSA cipher, and for symmetrical encryption – AES cipher. Both are currently treated as unbreakable “in reasonable time”.
We require users to set up passwords with appropriate length and complexity. The users can turn on two-factor authentication for access using either SMS code verification or single-use biometric authentication using iProov, or both. Login sessions expire automatically if inactive for more than 10 minutes.
We monitor server activity on an ongoing basis and analyse logs for any abnormalities. We use bot monitoring for alerts. Our security procedures include incident reporting (internal and to ICO), access management (server access is severely limited), and data privacy rules (we gain access to client data only with their consent).