Secure Email Encryption and Galaxkey

Important information for schools sending secure encrypted emails to Bradford Council using Galaxkey.

City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council has a need to send and receive personal data via   emails using a secure service with many of its external partners including schools. You may have previously interacted with the Council by sending email to an @bradford.gcsx.uk email account, however following advances in email security protocols Central Government has instructed that gcsx email addresses are now closed down.

Many organisations including most of our partners have responded to this by increasing their IT security that sends and receives emails. The Council‘s IT Service advises that in addition to this you also use Galaxkey encryption when exchanging personal and confidential data.

The Council has invested in Galaxkey for every Council IT user so they can add an extra layer of protection when sharing personal and confidential data with external bodies. 

  • With Galaxkey you can retrieve an email should you realise you’ve sent it to the wrong person. 
  • Galaxkey forces a recipient to log in before reading the contents of an email or opening attachments.  This provides an extra step to prevent personal data from being accessed by  the wrong person straight away – if the recipient is not expecting the email they’re less likely to sign up and read the contents
  • Galaxkey allows you to request a read notification when the recipient accesses the email. This provides an audit trail that personal and confidential data has successfully reached the right person.
  • Galaxkey always protects the email in transit over the internet, even where the recipient is using an email system that is of a lower level of security.

All organisations and our partners have an equal responsibility to share personal and confidential data securely but some organisations have responded to say they won’t use Galaxkey. The Council will always use Galaxkey for personal and confidential email exchanges. IT can advise if other methods are secure but Galaxkey is the Council’s current secure email product.

Council Services are aware of the impact of losing any personal data they are working with. All staff who have access to and need to share data with external partners, should know what is personal and confidential having undertaken the Council’s mandatory Protecting Information training.

Should there be a data breach as a result of someone sending personal and confidential data in an email to the wrong recipient the consequences would be major for the Council. These consequences would be reduced if we have taken appropriate steps to protect that data using Galaxkey and made it harder for the data to be read by an unauthorised third party. 

Registering to use Galaxkey

  1. There are two ways our partners like schools can sign up to the Galaxkey Service. You can go to www.galaxkey.com  to register/sign up for an account prior to receiving an email from the Council, or you can follow the instructions contained in the first Galaxkey email you receive from the Council.
  2. There is no charge for schools or partners to use the Galaxkey system when exchanging emails with Bradford Council email addresses.
  3. Please be careful because some of our partners have subscribed in error for a paid subscription for Galaxkey. If you are only using Galaxkey to exchange information with Bradford Council then you should not have to subscribe and it is free.
  4. If you do get prompted to subscribe please contact Galaxkey support via the details on www.galaxkey.com  directly in the first instance and they will be able to clarify why the school is receiving the request to subscribe. Their Sales Team should have checked thoroughly what the school’s requirements were before a paid for corporate Galaxkey licence was created. If it was created in error it can be reversed back to the free version.

Information

Published: 10/10/2019
Audience: All Headteachers, Senior Leadership Team, IT Managers, Business Managers and Data Managers
Contact: Colum Sheridan-Small

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