Tag Archives: Business Continuity Management

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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Advent IM confirmed as cyber security solution supplier to Her Majesty’s Government

Holistic security consultancy and a member of the Malvern Cyber Security Cluster, Advent IM Ltd has announced its confirmed status as cyber security solution supplier to Her Majesty’s Government.

The announcement follows on from the company’s long-standing and successful supplier relationships with several Government departments.

The cyber certification scheme is administrated by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and enables certified cyber security suppliers to Government to be able to publicise the fact. This offers a distinct advantage to those businesses, further enables the Government’s plan to work with more SMEs and also supports the export of UK cyber security expertise.

Speaking about the news, Advent IM director Julia McCarron told Risk UK: “The supply of specialist IA consultancy services to the UK Government is the foundation upon which Advent IM was built and this remains a very important sector for us. As an SME, we value the relationships we have with Her Majesty’s Government’s departments and agencies. Being awarded this status is important for our continued partnership development in this area and we’re delighted that we’ve been recognised as an official cyber security solution provider.”

Advent IM joins other members of the Malvern Cyber Security Cluster who have been recognised for their contribution to UK Government cyber security by being part of this scheme.

Advent IM has announced the company’s confirmed status as a cyber security solution supplier to Her Majesty’s Government

Advent IM has announced the company’s confirmed status as a cyber security solution supplier to Her Majesty’s Government

Holistic security management solutions

Advent IM is an independent specialist consultancy focusing 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 need to address risk management to protect against potential threats.

From offices in the Midlands and London, Advent IM’s consultants work nationwide and are members of the CESG Listed Advisor Scheme (CLAS), the Institute of Information Security Professionals (IISP), The Security Institute, the Business Continuity Institute and the British Computer Society.

Julia McCarron: director at Advent IM

Julia McCarron: director at Advent IM

Advent IM consultants are also lead auditors relating to the international standards for 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 Home Office-trained physical security assessors.

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Houses of Parliament achieves business continuity management certification

Business continuity management has become a critical business discipline, helping organisations prepare for (and recover from) a wide range of unexpected incidents and unwelcome interruptions. As part of its commitment to ensure there’s a robust business continuity management system in place, the Houses of Parliament has implemented and gained certification to ISO 22301 (the international business continuity management system standard from BSI).

The Houses of Parliament’s management team recognised that effective business continuity management was vital to achieving strategic goals and operational resilience. By implementing ISO 22301 as a Best Practice framework, it was possible to better identify and manage current and future threats and take a proactive approach to minimising the impact of incidents.

If an unforeseen incident should take place, the two Houses of Parliament needed to be resilient enough as an organisation to respond to the incident in order to protect staff, the environment and the services provided, minimise disruption to Parliamentary business and recover from the incident and return to normality as quickly as possible.

Being a UN World Heritage site and an icon of national identity were but two of the unique challenges presented in terms of designing the business continuity management system. Other factors to be considered included the importance of the political dynamic, the traditions and rules of procedure that provide the basis for ‘business as usual’ activities and the dual nature of Parliament and its decision-making processes.

The Houses of Parliament in Westminster

The Houses of Parliament in Westminster

Martin Fenlon, the business resilience co-ordinator for the Houses of Parliament, commented: “We have a responsibility to ensure Parliament can sit – and be seen to be sitting – as and when required. In order to deliver this we needed to develop a business continuity management capability. As a confident, competent organisation we wanted to follow industry Best Practice which is why we pursued certification to ISO 22301.”

Fenlon added: “During the assessment process we worked with BSI to identify opportunities for improvement as well as affirming areas of good practice. The building blocks are now in place for an effective business continuity management system. However, the next step is to embed our business resilience arrangements in a changing business environment.”

Lorna Anderson, global technical manager at BSI, explained: “An effective business continuity management system can go much further than merely being a plan for delivering ‘business as usual’. It’s about building a secure foundation to enable a business to adapt quickly and change in line with the market – protecting current operations but also building a platform for future growth. Our clients tell us that by putting effective business continuity management processes and structured, exercised continuity plans in place, they’ve increased their capability and agility to respond to challenges and are not only more likely to survive but, in many cases, thrive.”

In conclusion, Anderson said: “By gaining certification, the Houses of Parliament has demonstrated to the public and key stakeholders that it takes its responsibilities seriously and follows industry Best Practice. This is testament to the hard work that has gone into ensuring critical services remain resilient.”

*The scope for the certification applies to the Houses of Parliament Administrations only

About BSI: the British Standards Institution

BSI is the business standards company that equips businesses with the necessary solutions to turn standards of Best Practice into habits of excellence.

Formed in 1901, BSI was the world’s first National Standards Body and a founding member of the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO).

Over a century later, BSI continues to facilitate business improvement across the globe by helping its clients drive performance, manage risk and grow sustainably through the adoption of international management systems standards (many of which were originated by the BSI).

Renowned for its marks of excellence (including the consumer-recognised BSI Kitemark™), BSI’s influence spans multiple sectors including aerospace, the built environment, the food industry, healthcare and ICT.

With over 72,000 clients in 150 countries, BSI is an organisation whose standards inspire excellence across the globe.

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