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News

MOD Strengthens Defence Against Hackers

LogRhythm : 17 December, 2010  (Technical Article)
UK Minister announces improved defences for the Ministry Of Defence to protect against a range of cyber-threats including leaks and hacking
Armed forces minister Nick Harvey has confirmed that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has strengthened its IT security defences in response to the growing threat of cyber attacks. This follows threats from the 'Anonymous' group of hackers that it will launch attacks on British government sites in support of Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks. Just two months ago, in October 2010, cyber attacks were classified as one of the most serious threats to UK national security, when they were classified as a 'tier 1' threat, on a par with acts of terrorism.

As Ross Brewer, vice president and managing director for international markets, LogRhythm explains "The threat of cyber attack seems to be at an all time high in the UK - even the MoD is looking at ways to improve its defences. If an organisation with such a strong security mandate still has room for improvement, you can pretty much conclude that other public sector organisations need to make some changes too."

As it stands, all HMG ICT systems must adhere to Good Practice Guide 13 (GPG 13), which provides a framework for ensuring best practice IT security. GPG 13 prescribes Protective Monitoring, which involves the real-time collection of all computer-related activity and the creation of audit trails of any suspicious events. The challenge for public organisations is how to manage these cumbersome processes at a time when headcounts and budgets are under serious threat.

"Every IT related activity - whether legitimate or the result of a malicious attack - creates a log, so organisations have millions and millions of logs to monitor and process each and every day if they are going to comply with GPG 13," continued Brewer. "Organisations need an efficient way to analyse these logs and uncover the breaches and attacks that require immediate attention. One solution is the use of an automated centralised logging and security information event management solution (SIEM), which continually monitors for attacks and suspicious activity, while at the same time keep management overheads to a minimum."
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