Feeds

Basic security housekeeping vital, says GCHQ boss

Containing cyber threats mostly straightforward

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

GCHQ's director has said that 80 per cent of the government's cyber security vulnerabilities can be solved through good information assurance.

Iain Lobban, the director of the signals intelligence and information security organisation, said if government departments observed basic network security disciplines, such as "keeping patches up to date", combined with the necessary attention to personnel security, their online networks would be much safer.

"But the scale of the challenge is changing, and the remaining 20 per cent of the threat is complex and not easily addressed by just building the security walls higher and higher," he told an audience at the International Institute for Strategic Studies on 12 October 2010. "As Bill Lynn, the US Deputy Secretary of Defense has said, a 'Maginot line' approach to defence will not be sufficient of itself."

"The 20 per cent which is made up of that complex threat needs to be defended against in cyberspace itself."

The GCHQ boss also warned that as the government puts more of its services online, the public increasingly expects services to be completely secure.

Lobban urged the government to deepen its dialogue and partnership with the companies which deliver the systems and services that need securing.

"In many cases they have an equal or greater stake in ensuring proper protection and realising efficiencies," he said. "There is a strong foundation on which to build in the structures that have been created under the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure and a number of Whitehall/industry bodies."

Lobban also hopes that government organisations will respond more swiftly to "match the speed at which cyber events happen". This can be achieved through ensuring there is a direct feed of information from operators, he explained.

"But such feeds could give us the opportunity to respond, if necessary, with some active defensive techniques, as well as to spread knowledge of the threat quickly to others who may be vulnerable," he added.

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.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.