Blog by Arcanum Defence Relationship Manager, Vicky Carter.
In an age where cyber threats are constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated, it is imperative that organisations and government entities adapt their cyber security practices to stay ahead of the curve. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has embraced a forward-thinking approach called “Secure by Design” to enhance its cyber security posture. This principle represents a proactive shift in how we approach security, focusing on building robust security measures into every aspect of our digital infrastructure from the outset.
At its core, Secure by Design is a set of cyber security principles and practices that prioritise security at the foundation of any system, network, or application. It promotes the idea that cyber security should be an integral part of the development process rather than a bolt-on solution. By adhering to these principles, the MoD aims to create resilient and secure digital environments to safeguard sensitive information, critical infrastructure, and national security interests.
The impact of Secure by Design will be felt within industry and 3rd party vendors who will need to follow Secure by Design guidance contained within ISN2023-09 as well as ensuring their own corporate networks operate in accordance with ISN2023-10.
Arcanum supports defence primes and their supply chains to understand and manage their cyber security risks by implementing the Secure by Design principles. We are leading with developing the key strategy and policy documents required as part of Prepare Steps 1-7 (as required by NIST.800-37) for an enabling organisation. Our expert consultants hold top level security clearances and have Professional Registration Titles recognised by the National Cyber Security Centre.
Key Elements of Secure by Design
1. Risk Assessment: A fundamental step in Secure by Design is the thorough identification and assessment of potential risks and vulnerabilities. This includes evaluating the specific security threats that the MoD might face, both known and emerging, and tailoring security measures accordingly.
2. Defence-in-Depth: Secure by Design incorporates multiple layers of security, known as “Defence-in-Depth.” By using a combination of technical, administrative, and physical controls, the MoD ensures that even if one layer is compromised, there are additional layers to prevent further breaches.
3. Continuous Monitoring: Security is not a one-time effort; it’s an ongoing process. Secure by Design advocates for continuous monitoring and assessment of systems and networks to identify and mitigate potential vulnerabilities and threats in real-time.
4. Secure Development Lifecycle: One of the pillars of Secure by Design is the integration of security into the software and hardware development process from the very beginning. This involves secure coding practices, regular security testing, and threat modelling to ensure that vulnerabilities are addressed as soon as they are identified.
5. Information Sharing and Collaboration: The MoD actively promotes information sharing and collaboration with other government agencies, private sector partners, and international allies to stay updated on the latest threats and best practices in cyber security.
The Benefits of Secure by Design
Implementing the Secure by Design approach offers several key advantages for the MoD:
1. Proactive Security: By addressing security concerns from the outset, Secure by Design reduces the likelihood of costly and damaging security breaches.
2. Cost-Efficiency: Fixing security issues during the development phase is often less expensive than addressing them after a system is operational.
3. Adaptability: This approach allows for the rapid adoption of new security technologies and practices to stay ahead of evolving threats.
4. Enhanced Public Trust: Prioritising security in everything the MoD does helps build public trust and confidence in the organisation’s ability to protect national security interests.
The MoD’s adoption of the Secure by Design principles demonstrates a commitment to revolutionise their approach to cyber security. By embedding security in every aspect of their digital infrastructure, the MoD is taking a proactive stance in safeguarding national security interests.
Secure by Design is going to impact your MoD programmes throughout the CADMID lifecycle, from concept to disposal. Contact us to discuss how our expert consultants can support you in implementing the Secure by Design principles:
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Read more about Arcanum’s work in the Defence sector here.
About Arcanum: Arcanum is an NCSC Assured Cyber Security Consultancy, which employs a large team of highly experienced and qualified consultants. They support clients across multiple sectors, ranging from Critical National Infrastructure, Defence, Space and Aerospace to SME’s.
Arcanum provides a comprehensive offering, which includes NCSC assured Risk Management Consultancy, GovAssure, CREST approved Penetration Testing, Civil Aviation Authority ASSURE auditing, PCI DSS and Digital Forensics services.