Alternative to DWP EDI PGP Secure Email

Thu 09 July 2020 | email compliance

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is the British government department responsible for welfare and pension policy.

DWP provides EDI (Electronic Data Interface) / EDT (Electronic Data Transfer) file exchange services with partners and service providers, including Social Housing Associations (HA), Local Authority or Local Council etc

Depending on you DWP service (lie JobCentre Plus, DWP Housing, DWP Child Care) you can chose between multiple file exchange methods/interfaces.

For example, if you are an Housing Association and need to exchange documents with DWP Housing for Universal Credit Creditors or Suppliers you have the following options:

  • EDI PGP Secure Email S/MIME
  • EDI Generic File Transfer Service (GFTS)

In this article we describe the the main benefit of using the EDI Generic File Transfer Service (GFTS) option with SFTPPlus as an Explicit FTP server over the PGP Secure Email (S/MIME) option.

Automated security

This is the main reason for using SFTPPlus. The transfer is fully automated preventing any human errors during day to day operations.

SFTPPlus will check the security of the connection and will abort on error. For example, man-in-the-middle attacks are automatically detected.

This is fully automated and there is no chance for a human to press an "Ignore errors" or "Continue anyway" button and process with a vulnerable connection.

Support and consultancy

With SFTPPlus you will get support and consultancy from a team of secure file transfer experts, with a long-term relationship with DWP.

We will help you design and implement the secure file exchange with DWP.

DWP Code of Connection (CoCo) guidance is provided on a current ‘as is’ basis. DWP will not comment on the implementations of the individual mail solutions used by external organisations with whom DWP corresponds.

We can help you understand the CoCo document and make sure the people from your organization will understand the requirements and security measurements.

We have worked together with DWP and its partners for more than 15 years. We helped DWP migrate from their legacy document service and we have an excellent understanding of legacy systems.

For example, we helped with the delivery and are currently supporting the Digital Children’s Platform (DOS 012) and the data exchange between DWP and the Scottish Government.

Automated file transfer

Just drag and drop or copy a file to a local directory and SFTPPlus will take care of the secure transfer.

On errors, like connection errors or remote servers not available due to a 10 minutes maintenance, SFTPPlus will automatically retry the delivery of the files.

If the remote service is unavailable for a long period of time, SFTPPlus can send an email notification to inform that the file was not sent.

You can then check your network connection and check with DWP to see why the service is not available.

Integration with external applications

SFTPPlus can interact and integrate with your existing business logic applications, like a data or a reporting tool.

Once a report is generated by your reporting tool, SFTPPlus will automatically pick that report and transfer it.

Data retention policy

The transferred files can be archived for a number of days.

If there was an error on the DWP-side, you can retransmit the file from the archive.

The archived files are also available to support any audit operation.

Archived files are automatically remove after a number of days, so that your archive size will not grow forever.

No external or 3rd party dependencies

You don't need to install extra PGP software,

No need to configure or modify the Windows Certificate Store.

No need for Outlook or other PGP enabled email clients.

Large file transfer

Your email server might have a limit to the size of an email message.

The majority of email servers will reject emails greater than 20MB.

Depending on the type of documents that you exchange, this might not be an issue, as you will always transfer smaller files.

Read more about securing SFTPPlus transfer options in our documentation page.