Tag Archives: Advent IM

Newest version of UK Government’s G-Cloud set to include Advent IM

Advent IM has been part of the UK Government’s G-Cloud portal since its first release. It has now been announced that the newest iteration of the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) procurement platform will again provide direct public sector access to the company’s cyber security, risk management consultancy and training services.

Advent IM’s director, Julia McCarron, said: “Our long-standing relationship with the public sector has been consolidated by our availability over several iterations of the G-Cloud platform. The ability to procure cyber security and risk management services quickly and directly has been of great importance to our clients. We’re delighted to be listed on G-Cloud 10 and look forward to supporting more public sector bodies with high quality consulting and training.”

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Julia McCarron of Advent IM

The CCS is a commercial service for Government, acting on behalf of the Crown, to drive savings for the taxpayer and improve the quality of commercial and procurement activity across the public sector. CCS brings together, as one organisation, the Government Procurement Service – the commercial function of the Cabinet Office – as well as common goods and services procurement and commercial management currently undertaken by departments.

Its vision is to deliver value for the nation through outstanding commercial capability and quality customer service.

The CCS is an executive agency of the Cabinet Office and operates as a trading fund under the Government Trading Funds Act 1973.

*For further detail access https://www.digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk/g-cloud/supplier/92582

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James Morris MP visits Advent IM to discuss EU’s GDPR and ‘The Future of Cyber Security in the Boardroom’

On Friday 20 January, Advent IM – the holistic security consultancy – played host to a visit from James Morris MP at its Birmingham headquarters.

2018 will see the adoption of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the UK. Given the GDPR’s increased accountability and level of financial penalty for failure, the implications for UK businesses are clear.

Advent IM has long felt that good data protection and security hygiene starts at the top of an organisation and needs to be handled strategically.

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Advent IM’s Mike Gillespie

James Morris MP visited Advent IM’s offices and Training Centre in Halesowen to discuss the GDPR and Advent IM’s new training course for senior Board members and business leaders. The training is designed specifically for director-level individuals with little or no cyber security background. The course is to be delivered by director and cyber security expert, Mike Gillespie.

Having an insight into the convoluted world of cyber security, in addition to a firm grasp of the challenges it presents to senior Board members, Gillespie plans to bring the strategic skills of business leaders to bear on high quality cyber security planning and data protection practices in order to “raise the UK’s game” from the top down.

“James Morris has always taken a keen interest in cyber security and digital development in business and recognises the need for the UK to ensure its security posture is robust,” asserted Gillespie. “With the interconnected nature of business and the digital life of commerce, small and local businesses can be holding extremely valuable information assets. They need adequate protection through their lifecycle.”

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Advent IM outlines detail for ‘Cyber for the C-Suite’ Breakfast Seminar

A breakfast seminar created exclusively for business leaders and senior Board members seeking guidance on the present cyber security threat is to be run by security consultancy Advent IM at the company’s Training Centre near the M5, Birmingham on 7 December.

With many years’ experience in senior level consulting, training and mentoring, the seminar will be delivered by Advent IM’s managing director Mike Gillespie, who’s also director of cyber strategy and research for The Security Institute. As a director, Gillespie understands the place of senior leadership in cyber resilience and risk management.

The seminar is designed to promote and enhance understanding of the organisational threats that Boardrooms need to factor into resilience strategies. Attendees will also have first access to places on the forthcoming training course, again exclusively for senior leaders and the C-Suite, which will start in March 2017.

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Gillespie informed Risk UK: “The cyber threat landscape is high on the agenda of all Boardrooms. Many businesses have felt the impact of cyber attack, either directly or through supply chain partners. No size of business is immune and no kind of service spared the attackers’ attentions, with even hospitals being struck by ransomware.”

He added: “Recent research suggests that 82% of businesses say security is a CEO or Board-level concern, with two-thirds suggesting that they’re increasing cyber security spend. The additional spend is great, but without leadership and solid strategy it may not achieve anything near its potential, and cyber risk may not be reduced. We absolutely have to make sure Boardrooms are well briefed and understand how to go about effective cyber risk management.”

*Details of the seminar and how to book can be found at: http://www.advent-im.co.uk/breakfast-seminar-7th-december-cyber-security-awareness-for-business-leaders/. Alternatively, telephone 0121 559 6699 or 0207 100 1124 or send an e-mail to: bestpractice@advent-im.co.uk

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Advent IM welcomes James Morris MP for cyber security skills gap discussions

Midlands-based cyber and information security consultancy Advent IM and members of the Malvern Cyber Security Cluster have enjoyed some serious discussions with James Morris (the MP for Halesowen and Rowley Regis) around how to bridge the current cyber security skills gap.

Advent IM welcomed the MP to its head office and training centre on 20 February. During the visit, Morris met with members of the team in addition to the company’s directors, Julia McCarron and Mike Gillespie, who highlighted the ongoing cyber security skills gap that the UK is experiencing.

The MP acknowledged this as a topic he himself is extremely keen to address with the local college and that he’s also keen to be a part of the solution to entry level skill building and a career path for young people interested in joining the cyber security sector.

James Morris MP (centre) with Mike Gillespie and Julia McCarron

James Morris MP (centre) with Mike Gillespie and Julia McCarron

Last year, Mike Gillespie joined Cyber Skills Challenge UK’s CEO Stephanie Daman on BBC Radio 4 to discuss this topic, and takes every opportunity to raise awareness of the threat that a continuing gulf between UK security needs and the number of available professionals actively forms.

“The youngsters growing up now are using technology in an ever-increasing array of ways,” stated Gillespie. “The Internet of Things connects people with their information in an unprecedented manner. It’s vital we engage the upcoming generation such that they’re interested in cyber security, not only as a career path towards being a security professional, which is what UK plc really needs, but also because security is becoming part of all employees’ lives. Their role in organisational security is increasingly acknowledged.”

Gillespie went on to tell Risk UK: “We cannot afford to allow our approach to security to remain static. Threats and risks to business proliferate in a dynamic landscape and we need to develop our talent to deal with that landscape in the same evolved and proactive way. Bringing young people into security via apprenticeships and helping them to develop down this route is going to form a vital part of safeguarding UK plc in the years to come.”

Advent IM is keen to explore options for bridging the skills gap in the local community. To this end, the company will be supporting James Morris MP in addressing the challenge of developing education and training programmes that will enable local youngsters to actively become the cyber security experts of the future.

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Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude visits cyber security specialist Advent IM

The Rt Hon Francis Maude MP has visited West Midlands-based cyber security consultancy Advent IM as part of the MPs’ remit as the Minister for Cyber Security. 

Maude met with Mike Gillespie and Julia McCarron, the co-founders of Advent IM, to find out more about the cyber security work the company delivers as one of the UK’s leading independent information security consultancies, the company’s history, its ethos and the business challenges faced by the organisation as an SME.

Topics for discussion on the day were both wide and varied. Mike Gillespie explained the principles of a holistic and risk-based approach to security and the MP was particularly interested in how this translates into solid governance in business.

Maude was also keen to find out more about threat convergence, how cyber threats can now impact our physical environments and steps that can be taken to mitigate those threats.

The team expanded on Advent IM’s development of cyber security training courses specifically for the police in the areas of SIRO and IAO responsibilities and accountability, general cyber security awareness training opportunities currently being developed and Advent IM’s mentoring approach to consultancy delivery, ensuring the company is seen by those involved as a business enabler.

The Advent IM team members meet Francis Maude MP

The Advent IM team members meet Francis Maude MP

The G-Cloud procurement process

Maude and the team discussed the merits of the G-Cloud procurement process and how there’s room to improve the perception that it’s more for technology purchases than consultancy, and how Government is starting to drive the requirement for Best Practice information security and ISO 27001 (more of which anon) through its outsourced service providers.

Changes to the Government Security Classification Scheme and the lack of understanding around its application were touched upon, as were the issues being confronted by local authorities in connecting to PSN and how the latest changes would impact on those either connecting or acting as a provider.

The Cabinet Office Minister also took the time to discuss areas of work with Advent IM staff from the consultancy, marketing and sales teams and the challenges they face when it comes to implementing and promoting cyber security across the UK.

“We greatly appreciate the time Francis Maude has taken to visit us,” said Advent IM’s operations director Julia McCarron. “As cyber security specialists, a number of us have attended events where Mr Maude has been present but we’ve rarely had the opportunity to discuss with him what’s happening in the market or air our views fact-to-face. To be singled out and given the chance to discuss our company, the industry and involve all of our staff in that forum was an honour for the team.”

Advent IM's Mike Gillespie talks cyber security with Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude

Advent IM’s Mike Gillespie talks cyber security with Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude

Holistic security management solutions

Advent IM focuses on holistic security management solutions for information, people and physical assets across both the public and private sectors.

Established in 2002, Advent IM is a Centre of Excellence for security services, promoting the benefits of Best Practice guidelines and standards and the ongoing need to address risk management in order to protect against potential threats.

From offices in the Midlands and London, the company’s consultants work on a nationwide basis and are members of the CESG Listed Advisor Scheme, the Institute of Information Security Professionals, The Security Institute, the Business Continuity Institute and the British Computer Society.

Advent IM consultants are also lead auditors for the international standards on Information Security Management (ISO 27001) and Business Continuity Management (ISO 22301), practitioners of PRINCE2 (a recognised project management methodology widely used within the public sector), CISSP-qualified and also Home Office-trained physical security assessors.

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