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By Yvonne Headington

Public and commercial institutions are becoming increasingly aware of the economic and security threats lurking within the virtual environment. Thus cyber issues were high on the agenda of delegations visiting this year’s DSEi (13-16 September 2011).

In recent years there has been an acquisitions frenzy of specialist IT/security companies, by major Defence firms seeking to embrace both the commercial challenges and opportunities posed by the cyber threat. Robert Crook, Raytheon’s Director of National Security, Mission Support & Training, told BATTLESPACE that the company is drawing on its own experience of cyber strikes (Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) in particular) and applying this expertise to products for their customers within Government and Defence.

According to Robert Crook, about 70% of effective cyber security can be achieved through “good habits” and the Company runs a number of training schemes aimed at senior executives, managers and practitioners. Adopting an habitual approach to cyber security within an organisation, beyond the box-ticking requirements of ‘compliance’ often requires a shift in attitudes. Increasing awareness among senior personnel can be “the best catalyst for cultural change” says Mr Crook.

Raytheon has also developed technical solutions such as RShield, a behaviour-based analysis system that detects e-mail transmitted malware, often missed by traditional anti-virus products. RShield will launch the payload of an e-mail and examine the content for any suspicious behaviour code. The system sits beneath the conventional anti-virus filter – effectively providing a second layer of defence against malicious traffic.

Another product, Sureview, has been designed to provide a proactive approach to cyber security by detecting the warning signs that may typically lead to an internal breach. The system achieves this by capturing potentially malevolent behaviour, such as policy violations, compliance incidents or malicious acts. Sureview can quickly discern malicious from benign actions while respecting employee privacy guidelines. Robert Crook is upbeat about sales prospects for these products, adding: “We are talking to potential commercial customers world wide”.

The problem of internal cyber security is being addressed by BAE Systems through an investment agreement worth over £1million with Overtis Group Ltd. The agreement is to accelerate the development of user behaviour monitoring software, VigilancePro, which shapes and monitors the behaviour of computer users. The system allows a company to specify data access, storage and transfer rights, protecting data and privacy. Adrian Furner, BAE Systems’ Commercial Director Strategic Capability Solutions said: “The internal security of data is vital to our customers, developing a high level of assurance will enhance the way we collaborate and share data in the future”.

During DSEi, BAE Systems Detica also demonstrated its Secure Network Gateway product, which enables organisations to separate its critical high value networks from standard IT networks (thereby enhancing the protection of critical systems from outside attack). BAE Systems Detica contends that “whereas military and Government have historically seen the real necessity of advanced security for their most sensitive information and operations, private sector organisations are faced with the need to balance cost and practicality of implementing an appropriate level of security for low probability, but high risk attacks”.

The issue of maintaining high value network integrity is particularly important for the UK’s critical national infrastructure (CNI), comprising commercial organisations (operating within the communications, finance, utilities, emergency services and transport sectors) as well as the public sector and Government. A Detica-sponsored report (Cyber Security and the UK’s Critical National Infrastructure) p

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