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News

Scaled Up Cyber Threat Requires Protective Monitoring

LogRhythm : 19 October, 2010  (Technical Article)
LogRhythm comments on the increased requirement for protecting monitoring in light of the recent revelations in the UK's National Security Strategy placing cyber terrorism as a Tier 1 threat to the United Kingdom
The new National Security Strategy is set to classify cyber attacks as one of the most serious dangers currently facing the UK. Attacks on UK computer networks will soon be categorised as a 'Tier 1' threat alongside acts of terrorism and an international military crisis.

In light of these developments, Good Practice Guide 13 (GPG 13), which was introduced by CESG, (the UK Government's National Technical Authority for Information Assurance) has never been more important. It prescribes Protective Monitoring for all HMG ICT systems, providing a framework for treating risks, collecting log information and creating audit trails of any suspicious event. However, LogRhythm, a log management and cyber security specialist, argues that with budgets being tightened, the public sector needs to look for IT security solutions that do more than guard against threats, but also add real value across organisations and departments.

"We now find ourselves constantly reminded of how important it is to protect public and private infrastructure from the threat of cyber attacks," said Ross Brewer, VP and MD of international markets at LogRhythm. "The Government is right to class these attacks as a 'Tier 1' threat, only last week a former US Homeland Security secretary told delegates at the RSA Conference that around 100 countries have cyber-espionage and attack capabilities, and that the use of these tools could even result in loss of life if systems like air-traffic control are targeted."

Budget cuts and reorganisation plans are making the news on a daily basis and are placing the public sector in a state of flux. Included among the GPG 13 recommendations is the need to monitor all computer-related activity in real-time and alert on any irregular behaviour as soon as it happens. A key challenge facing the public sector is how to effectively monitor all this activity using already stretched resources.

"Every IT related activity creates log data, leading to millions of individual incidents being logged on a daily basis. To comply with GPG 13 recommendations, organisations need to find solutions that automatically monitor all these logs, while also reporting and alerting on activities that warrant special attention," continued Brewer. "Centralised logging and security information event management solutions are ideal for these requirements and can also provide the added advantage of automating the best practice principles necessary to ensure working policies are always observed. Even though IT security spending may escape the worst of the public sector budget cuts, in tough times like these, it is absolutely vital that IT systems can add value in as many areas as possible."
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