Category Archives: Information Security for Government Suppliers

Are you sure it’s just an RMADS you need?

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The case for a considered approach to Information Assurance on MOD projects

“Just get a contractor in to write an RMADS when we’ve finished testing the system.”

How many times have we heard those fateful words?  And how many times have we put our heads in our hands and almost cried?

“What’s the problem?” you may ask. Well, in this article, we’ll explain.

We’ll make a balanced case for why your approach to Information Assurance (IA – making sure your information stays secure) would benefit from a more holistic approach. Continue reading “Are you sure it’s just an RMADS you need?” »

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Dave James

Information Risk Management expert and Managing Director of Ascentor

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The one-stop guide to cyber security advice (Part 2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last month we published the first of a two-part series on the best cyber security guides and articles on the web. It covered advice on educating your employees about cyber security, guidance for the board and tips for small and micro businesses.

The article was written for anyone increasingly concerned about the threat to their data and looking for advice – you can re-visit part-one here.

This month, in part-two, we point our lens at ransomware, the insider threat, guidance for suppliers to HM Government and there’s even a plain English guide to all that cyber security jargon. Continue reading “The one-stop guide to cyber security advice (Part 2)” »

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Ben Wheeler

Ascentor marketing and content editor.

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How to prepare your company for achieving List X

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Here at Ascentor we get many companies asking us how they can become a List X company. The answer is always the same – it is not something that you can just do; you must have a contract, usually with the MOD, that requires you to hold sensitive government assets on your own premises. However, there are a few things you can do to prepare if you think a contract may be forthcoming.

This blog aims to give you a few hints and tips about some pragmatic steps you can take to get you up and running as a List X company much quicker. Continue reading “How to prepare your company for achieving List X” »

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Paddy Keating

Director and Government Service Manager at Ascentor

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An introduction to Building Information Modelling (BIM) – Part 1 of 2

Building Information Modelling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you run your own construction business or manage large building projects, you will know about the many professions and trades that need to come together to contribute to a modern building or refurbishment. But does information risk and cyber security come into your thinking? If not, it should.

Such projects require detailed information to be transferred between partners such as designers and architects at the planning stage, followed by the construction teams.  A variety of software tools are available to support this process such as 3D modelling packages, CAD software and project management tools.

All of this generates large volumes of data that must be accurate and which has to get to the right people on time. What’s more, it has to be safe from threats – and remain that way. Continue reading “An introduction to Building Information Modelling (BIM) – Part 1 of 2” »

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Steve Maddison

Director and Principal Consultant

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Ascentor expands capabilities on Digital Outcomes and Specialists 2

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Public sector organisations, agencies and associated bodies can now buy more Ascentor services through the Digital Outcomes and Specialists (DOS) Framework.

Ascentor’s cyber security and information assurance consultants have a background in government security and extensive experience in a variety of Information Assurance (IA) disciplines. In the second iteration of the DOS framework, Ascentor’s Digital Outcomes capabilities cover a range of security topics – IA certification, policy, threat modelling, risk management, infrastructure reviews and firewall audits. We can also offer project management, and process and system auditing. Continue reading “Ascentor expands capabilities on Digital Outcomes and Specialists 2” »

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Ben Wheeler

Ascentor marketing and content editor.

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‘Not if but when’ – 2017 UK cyber security in focus

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2017 is Ascentor’s thirteenth year in information risk management. Over the years we’ve helped public and private sector organisations address the challenging landscape of cyber security and information assurance. Each year brings different threats – those we already recognise evolve, others are completely new. At the same time the legislative horizon changes as new standards and regulations come into force.

We started 2017 by quoting a tweet from John Chambers, CEO of Cisco, that is as good as any in describing the challenges of the year ahead. “There are two types of organisation: those that have been hacked & those that don’t know they’ve been hacked.” So, it’s increasingly a case of ‘not if but when’ – and a lot of household-name organisations know how painful that felt last year. Continue reading “‘Not if but when’ – 2017 UK cyber security in focus” »

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Ben Wheeler

Ascentor marketing and content editor.

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The Future of Information Assurance Accreditation

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Ascentor’s Paddy Keating attended the SUAC – Accreditors’ Professional Update and Development Event 2016 on 2-3 November 2016. One of the main topics regarded the future of accreditation within government centred on a recent consultation paper entitled Assuring Information Services for Government prepared by the Accreditation Specialism Advisor Group (ASAG).

The paper identified some drivers for change including efficiency, quality and speed but it also identified the underlying problem of accreditation and accreditors themselves having bad press. Here are Paddy’s reflections on the day. Continue reading “The Future of Information Assurance Accreditation” »

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Paddy Keating

Director and Government Service Manager at Ascentor

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Supply Chain Cyber Security – defeating the weakest link (Part 1)

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It’s an everyday story but it could happen in your business – right under your nose and far more easily than you could have imagined. Who’d have thought that a contractor would cost millions in lost revenue and nearly bring the business to its knees? But that’s what a weak link in your supply chain cyber security can do.

Picture the scene… Brian parks in the street around the corner from work and walks down the side of his company building. The back door, propped half open by the fire extinguisher, makes entry a breeze. He takes off his balaclava and walks down the corridor to the server room. Brian provides IT support to this and other local companies and, as IT system administrator, he has the keys to the server room door… Continue reading “Supply Chain Cyber Security – defeating the weakest link (Part 1)” »

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Steve Maddison

Director and Principal Consultant

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Cyber Insurance – can you ever be fully covered?

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Whether it be from hackers, careless employees, malicious insiders or ransomware (pick your own threat list) – organisations are under increasing risk of cyber attack. And, wherever there is a risk – there’s the option of insurance.

Cyber insurance, also referred to as cyber risk insurance or cyber liability insurance coverage (CLIC), has been around for over a decade. Now, as cyber threats grow, cyber insurance looks set to join other business insurance policies in the risk management toolkit. But, can it really adequately compensate against the consequences of an attack? Continue reading “Cyber Insurance – can you ever be fully covered?” »

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Ben Wheeler

Ascentor marketing and content editor.

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Reflections on CyberUK in Practice – CESG’s government security conference

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Ascentor went to the ‘CyberUK in Practice’ event in Liverpool on the 24th and 25th May, organised by CESG. Bringing government, industry and the wider public sector together, the event addressed how we can collectively make the UK safer online.

Over 900 delegates attended, with 60 speakers from government and industry. There was no shortage of topics covered and new developments shared. Indeed, Alex Dewdney, Director of Cyber Security at GCHQ described the event as a ‘step change in how government does cyber security.’

So, with a little time to reflect on the event, we’ve summarised what we thought were the main cyber security discussion points for government and industry. Continue reading “Reflections on CyberUK in Practice – CESG’s government security conference” »

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Ben Wheeler

Ascentor marketing and content editor.

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