Feeds

UK.gov's G Cloud may have security silver lining

It'll do in lieu of lead for UK.gov

The Power of One Infographic

Information security experts have said the government can take advantage of the G Cloud project to improve practices in the field.

John Colley, European managing director for ISC2, the certification body for information security professionals, and Professor Howard Schmidt, president and chief executive officer of the Information Security Forum (ISF), said the emergence of cloud computing is making it possible to take a new approach to security.

They were speaking to journalists at the RSA Conference in London against the backdrop of government plans to develop the G Cloud, a framework of virtualised applications and data storage facilities for the public sector. The Cabinet Office is leading the effort, which was announced in the Digital Britain paper during the summer.

Colley told GC News that UK government has previously kept its work on information security in specialist bodies such as GCHQ and CESG, separate from the development of business functions. "But there is a whole lot of commonality and it would be good to see the two working together," he said. "The cloud gives us the opportunity to get the specification right before we get too far down the track."

He said that pressure to refresh hardware and software to meet business demands has often led to systems being implemented more quickly than the security arrangements can be developed, but that the development of the G Cloud gives government the chance to start from scratch. But it also requires a development of the right skills to handle information security, with an increased emphasis on teams of people with individual skills.

"The days of the real generalist have gone," Colley said. "We need people with the overview of security and business demands who can pull together those with the technology skills."

This ties in with the view professed by ISC2 and the ISF that there is a growing segmentation of skills, between those with a deep knowledge of specific areas of technology, the group who understand the business and have consultancy skills, and the leaders who have a grasp of strategy and how it relates to issues around risk, security and privacy.

Schmidt said the development of cloud computing on a broad scale is providing a business opportunity that could include security as a core feature. "Those looking to be purchasers of cloud computing will be going with their own list of requirements in areas such as data back-up and encryption. Government can take these things to companies working in the cloud. Some of the things government is doing are more stringent than in the private sector."

He added that there is a need for a cadre of professionals with the specialist skills to ensure the cloud provides its full potential.

The government plans to develop the G Cloud to provide 'on demand' computing services for public sector organisations. The Cabinet Office has completed a feasibility study and is now working on a business case and to identify a number of steps to provide some initial services.

This article was originally published at Kable.

Kable's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.