Feeds

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

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

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.