Category Archives: Security Standards

The one-stop guide to cyber security advice (Part 1)

Best cyber guides reviewed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s always the big cyber security attacks that steal the headlines, but dig a little deeper and there are everyday stories of hacker inflicted misery – many of which could have been prevented.

So, if you are increasingly concerned about the threat to your own data and are looking for advice, this guide is for you.

It’s part one of a two-part series reviewing the ‘best of’ the many respected sources of cyber security advice available, with some of our most popular articles included. Continue reading “The one-stop guide to cyber security advice (Part 1)” »

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Ben Wheeler

Ascentor marketing and content editor.

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How to prepare your company for achieving List X

Top secret file

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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Convince your board – cyber attack prevention is better than cure

Cyber attack ahead

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a recurring message in many of the surveys about cyber security. It’s broadly this: a high number of businesses say that cyber security is an important issue – but a low number report any evidence of actually doing something about it.

The latest Cyber Security Breach Survey 2017 illustrates this perfectly. IPSOS MORI interviewed 1,523 UK businesses. In 74% of cases the directors or senior management said that cyber security is a high priority but only 20% currently provide staff with cyber security training – and only 33% have any formal policies in place. Continue reading “Convince your board – cyber attack prevention is better than cure” »

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Ben Wheeler

Ascentor marketing and content editor.

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How to manage Building Information Modelling (BIM) implementation – Part 2 of 2

Building Information Management (BIM) image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In our first article on Building Information Modelling (BIM), we looked at what BIM is and the types of data at risk in building projects. We discussed the threat to digital information and why cyber security needs to be an integral part of construction and refurbishment projects.

In part two we look at the process itself – how to manage BIM implementation and why managing the risks to building information doesn’t stop at the end of the build. Continue reading “How to manage Building Information Modelling (BIM) implementation – Part 2 of 2” »

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Steve Maddison

Director and Principal Consultant

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

2017-uk-cyber-security

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 UK Cyber Security Strategy 2016-2021 – A New Sheriff in Town?

UK cyber security strategy 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On 1st November 2016, the Chancellor of the Exchequer launched the latest UK Cyber Security Strategy. In a year that has seen rising international tensions around hacking, Philip Hammond commented that hostile “foreign actors” were developing techniques that threaten the country’s electrical grid and airports.

The £1.9bn new strategy will also help enlarge specialist police units that tackle organised online gangs – and contribute towards the education and training of cyber security experts. The programme is funded until the end of 2020. Continue reading “The UK Cyber Security Strategy 2016-2021 – A New Sheriff in Town?” »

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Steve Maddison

Director and Principal Consultant

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

CyberUK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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5 ways to spring clean your cyber security

Cyber spring clean

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring is here, the evenings are getting lighter. It’s a time when we clean and refresh for the year ahead. It’s also a time for renewal and optimism – but if there’s one area that we don’t want to experience the joys of spring it’s cyber crime.

Cyber criminals can threaten our personal security, steal intellectual property, create and distribute viruses and disrupt our critical national infrastructure. They can also target and manipulate employees (the Insider Threat) – sometimes with their co-operation, sometimes without their knowledge and attacks can remain undetected sometimes for months. Continue reading “5 ways to spring clean your cyber security” »

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Ben Wheeler

Ascentor marketing and content editor.

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An ounce of prevention could be worth a ton of cyber attack cure

Cyber attack prevention or cure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cyber attack on TalkTalk last year is estimated to have cost the company around £60m. Despite initial claims that the attack was ‘sophisticated’, it transpires that it was conducted by children from their homes. Not so much sophisticated as sofa-sticated!

Blaming an attack on very capable and well-resourced attackers tries to convince customers that nothing much could have been done to prevent it from happening – it’s just one of things that you have to accept if you’re going to do business in the cyber world. We disagree – there is much that can be done with a little awareness and application. Continue reading “An ounce of prevention could be worth a ton of cyber attack cure” »

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Paddy Keating

Director and Government Service Manager at Ascentor

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“In cyber security there is no front line” – An update to the Cyber Security Model

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For suppliers to the MOD, change is coming. The planned roll out of CSM in August of 2016 has been delayed. We are now expecting the Cyber Security Model (CSM) to be rolled out to large suppliers from January 2017 – with a full launch by April. FATS (a commercial MOD framework) will also go live in April and it is expected to include the contractual aspects of CSM.

To be compliant with the requirements of the CSM, the MOD supply chain will need Cyber Essentials or Cyber Essentials Plus and have information security governance policies in place. 

Ascentor strongly recommend that defence industry companies prepare for CSM by gaining certification to Cyber Essentials in advance – so they are ready to respond to the new contract requirements. In our experience, the larger the business, the more complex and time consuming the process. Don’t delay and put future contracts at risk.

For assistance on any aspect of CSM or Cyber Essentials, please contact Dave James at Ascentor info@ascentor.co.uk

The following article will tell you more about the CSM…


In August 2015 Ascentor first highlighted the proposals from the MOD to manage the risk to its information from supply chain companies by introducing the Cyber Security Model (CSM). The CSM is a methodology to assess the cyber risk for individual contracts which then mandates that suppliers meet a consistent standard of cyber security.

To update our coverage of CSM, we look at recent developments ahead of the planned roll out, now expected at the end of July 2016. Continue reading ““In cyber security there is no front line” – An update to the Cyber Security Model” »

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Steve Maddison

Director and Principal Consultant

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