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 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.”
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.