Feeds

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

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst
Big weekend queues only represent fruity firm's supply
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Bill Gates, drugs and the internet: Top 10 Larry Ellison quotes
'I certainly never expected to become rich ... this is surreal'
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
EMC, HP blockbuster 'merger' shocker comes a cropper
Stand down, FTC... you can put your feet up for a bit
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.