Feeds

Basic security housekeeping vital, says GCHQ boss

Containing cyber threats mostly straightforward

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
Apple grapple: Congress kills FBI's Cupertino crypto kybosh plan
Encryption would lead us all into a 'dark place', claim G-Men
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.