CESG unveils ‘twin-track’ cyber incident response

CESG, the information security arm of GCHQ, has launched a ‘twin-track’ initiative that provides access to industry expertise to respond effectively to the consequences of cyber security attacks.

Aug 22, 2013
By Paul Jacques
Ravjeet Gupta

CESG, the information security arm of GCHQ, has launched a ‘twin-track’ initiative that provides access to industry expertise to respond effectively to the consequences of cyber security attacks.

The group has launched two separate schemes. The first, broad-based scheme, focuses on appropriate standards for incident response aligned to demand from all sectors of industry, the wider public sector and academia.

The initiative will be led by the Council of Registered Ethical Security Testers (CREST), the professional body representing the technical security industry.

The second is a small and focused government-run Cyber Incident Response scheme certified by GCHQ and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) that will respond to sophisticated, targeted attacks against networks of national significance, for example, energy firms, emergency services and utilities companies.

According to CESG, this approach will enable organisations that may be victims of a cyber-attack – small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), national and multi-national industry, Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) companies, the wider public sector and central government – to source an appropriate incident response service tailored to their particular needs and allow GCHQ and CPNI to focus on the most challenging attacks.

The schemes follow a successful pilot conducted by CESG and CPNI in November 2012 that was funded by the National Cyber Security Programme. The new CESG scheme will provide a list of government-assured, certified providers of response and clean-up services in the event of a cyber-attack.

The schemes are one of a number of policies announced as part of the National Cyber Security Strategy, that was published in November 2011 and called for the Government to provide greater resilience to companies overseeing CNI, as well as the wider public and private sector.

Chloë Smith, Minister for Cyber Security, said: “We know that UK organisations are confronted with cyber threats that are growing in number and sophistication. The best defence for organisations is to have processes and measures in place to prevent attacks getting through, but we also have to recognise that there will be times when attacks do penetrate our systems and organisations want to know who they can reliably turn to for help.

“I am delighted to announce a unique government-industry partnership to tackle the effects of cyber incidents. This scheme and others like it, together with the 10 Steps to Cyber Security guidance for business launched last year, are an important part of our effort to provide assistance to industry and government in order to protect UK interests in cyberspace.”

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