Tag Archives: Cabinet Office

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.”


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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STEM prodigies battle it out in competition to find UK’s next generation of cyber security talent

This year’s CyberCenturion winners are from St Paul’s School, Barnes in London. The school’s two teams scooped both first and second place, with Team B winning the competition and Team A finishing second. The day-long cyber defence competition was led by global security company Northrop Grumman and the Cabinet Office-backed Cyber Security Challenge UK. The national finals follow months of gruelling online qualifiers between over 100 teams from across the UK and overseas territories.

The candidates were tasked with defending a start-up drone-based food delivery service – named ‘Always Food Available’ – using their evolving cyber security skills to identify vulnerabilities in the company’s network and systems, repair the vital issues and maintain the company’s services, while also fending off adversaries.

“Congratulations to our winning team,” said Nigel Harrison, acting COO and co-founder of the Cyber Security Challenge UK. “They emerged victorious after a day of intense competition. The next CyberCenturion is now open for registration and we would like to encourage more young people to consider taking part. With an increasing number of processes and jobs becoming digitally-focused, it’s vital that we find workers to protect our connected world, whether they’re intelligence officers supporting the Government’s hunt for criminals or network engineers protecting the launch systems of spacecraft.”

The winning team received 16 Pi-top CEED kits for their school to help further promote STEM and cyber careers and provide them with a competitive edge for their future careers.

“The enthusiasm of the participants and the high standards among the teams in the finals has been impressive to see,” said Andrew Tyler, CEO at Northrop Grumman Europe. “We congratulate all of the finalists on their accomplishments, wish them success and look forward to the positive impact they can make in addressing the global security challenges of the future.”


Tyler went on to state: “There’s a severe shortage of diverse young people entering careers in STEM subjects, and it’s up to industry leaders like Northrop Grumman to help rectify that situation. Through CyberCenturion, we’re helping to inspire and build a diverse workforce that addresses this global imperative.”

With the backing of founding sponsors like the SANS Institute, the Challenge started out in 2010 to create a series of virtual and face-to-face competitions that would identify talented people for the cyber security industry.

Now in its eighth year, the Challenge is backed by over 50 of the UK’s most prestigious public, private and academic organisations, and hosts a wide programme of activities designed to spread the word about why cyber security is such a fulfilling and varied career while also helping talented people to access their first cyber security jobs.

Working with those at schools and universities and individuals looking to change careers, the Challenge is making a notable difference to the career prospects of people with the talent and aptitude to become cyber security professionals.

*For further information access https://cybersecuritychallenge.org.uk/

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Robert Hannigan begins director’s role at GCHQ

Robert Hannigan has now succeeded Sir Iain Lobban as director of GCHQ, his appointment made with the agreement of Prime Minister David Cameron and in consultation with Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister.

Robert Hannigan has been the Director General (Defence and Intelligence) at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) since 2010. Hannigan’s appointment (first announced back in April) at GCHQ was made following a recruitment process chaired by Sir Kim Darroch, National Security Adviser, that was open to crown and civil servants.

Foreign Secretary William Hague commented: “I’m delighted that Robert Hannigan has been appointed as the next Director of GCHQ. GCHQ’s world class work is vital to the safety and security of the United Kingdom. As well as his impressive personal qualities, Robert brings to the job a wealth of relevant experience in the fields of national security, counter-terrorism and international relations. I’d also like to thank Sir Iain Lobban for his consistently strong and professional leadership as Director of GCHQ since 2008.”

Commenting on his appointment, Robert Hannigan said: “It’s a privilege to be asked to lead GCHQ, an organisation which is so central to keeping the people of this country safe. I have great respect for the integrity and professionalism of the staff at GCHQ and for what they have achieved under the outstanding leadership of Sir Iain Lobban. I’m excited about meeting the challenges of the coming years alongside them.”

Robert Hannigan: the new Director of GCHQ

Robert Hannigan: the new Director of GCHQ

Sir Kim Darroch stated: “I’m delighted Robert Hannigan has been appointed Director of GCHQ. He will bring energy, flair, deep knowledge and extensive experience to the role, and I look forward to working closely with him. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Sir Iain Lobban. Iain has been a close friend and colleague over my time as National Security Adviser, and has done an absolutely outstanding job at an exceptionally testing time for the organisation.”

Robert Hannigan: the Curriculum Vitae

Robert Hannigan joined the FCO as Director General (Defence and Intelligence) on 29 March 2010. For a number of years he has advised the Prime Minister on counter-terrorism, intelligence and security policy.

Hannigan joined the Civil Service from the private sector, becoming Director of Communications for the Northern Ireland Office. He was then appointed to be principal adviser to (then) Prime Minister Tony Blair and various Secretaries of State for Northern Ireland on the peace process, assuming responsibility for negotiations with the political parties and other groups in addition to liaison with the Irish Government and US Administration.

Hannigan was also the Prime Minister’s Security Adviser and Head of Intelligence, Security and Resilience in the Cabinet Office from 2007 with responsibility for the UK’s National Security Strategy.

Hannigan has been a member of the Joint Intelligence Committee for many years and was responsible (in the Cabinet Office) for the funding of the three UK intelligence agencies. He has regularly chaired ‘COBR’ meetings on terrorist incidents.

He was also responsible for the UK’s first Cyber Security Strategy and oversaw the first National Security Strategy.

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G4S issues update on electronic monitoring contracts

G4S plc has issued the following update in relation to billings made for electronic monitoring services provided by G4S Care & Justice Services (UK) Ltd in England and Wales between 2005 and 2013.

In June 2013, G4S plc engaged the international law firm Linklaters LLP to perform an independent review into the conduct of G4S employees in relation to billing under the electronic monitoring contract, and to assess whether there was any evidence of dishonesty or criminal conduct.

As part of its ongoing review, Linklaters has conducted an extensive search and review of e-mails and numerous interviews with relevant employees and has not identified any evidence of dishonesty or criminal conduct by any employee of G4S in relation to the billing arrangements under the electronic monitoring contracts.

The review has confirmed that, in certain circumstances, G4S Care & Justice Services (UK) Ltd wrongly considered itself to be contractually entitled to bill for monitoring services when equipment had not been fitted or after it had been removed.

Ashley Almanza: Group CEO at G4S

Ashley Almanza: Group CEO at G4S

This billing practice, which the company believes was confined to the electronic monitoring contract for England and Wales, was not consistent with the contract or G4S’ values. The company has apologised to the Ministry of Justice and issued credit notes totalling £23.3 million for amounts incorrectly billed between 2005 and May 2013.

A further credit note of £0.8 million will be issued for billings for the period from June 2013 to date.

These credit notes are issued against outstanding sums on these contracts and are covered by an impairment provision made in the Group’s half-year results. In addition, G4S has incurred external investigation costs of around £2 million.

Audit in relation to billings

The Ministry of Justice is conducting an audit in relation to electronic monitoring billings and the company’s assessment of these matters and the credit notes may not agree with the Ministry’s audit findings. Once those findings are available, G4S will work with the Ministry of Justice to resolve any outstanding matters.

G4S continues to provide close support for the reviews being conducted by the Cabinet Office and the Ministry into other G4S contracts with the UK Government. While these reviews are not yet complete, no evidence has been identified by the company (or brought to the company’s attention) which indicates that the billing procedures on the electronic monitoring contract have been applied to any other G4S contracts.

G4S has taken action to renew management, reinforce its corporate values and strengthen risk management and controls. Since 1 June, the company has made important changes to its senior management team, including the appointment of a new CEO, a new CFO and a new regional CEO for its UK businesses, and has also appointed an experienced Deloitte partner to the newly-created position of group head of risk and programme assureance.

The executive previously responsible for the UK businesses (including electronic monitoring) is no longer working at G4S.

Further organisational and process changes are being implemented to strengthen customer focus, governance and contract management and control. Taken together with the significant changes to its Board composition, G4S is well advanced in a programme of fundamental corporate renewal.

Comment from G4S on the Linklaters findings

Commenting on Linklaters’ findings, Ashley Almanza (G4S’s Group CEO) said: “Our announcement today follows months of intensive work by an independent law firm and external accountants. It’s an important step in setting this matter straight and restoring the trust which has been earned by our many thousands of committed and hard-working employees over many years.

“The way in which this contract was managed was not consistent with our values or our approach to dealing with customers. Simply put, it was unacceptable and we have apologised to the Ministry of Justice.

“As part of a wider programme of corporate renewal, we have changed the leadership of our UK business and we are putting in place enhanced risk management and contract controls. We remain committed to working with the Ministry of Justice and the UK Government to resolve this matter, and to providing enhanced oversight of service delivery and contract performance.”

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Samsung devices gain approval for use by UK Government

The UK Government has published guidance on using Samsung smartphones and tablets for use in the wider UK public sector.

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd today announced UK Government security guidance for selected Samsung Android smartphones and tablets.

CESG has issued Platform Security Guidance for Samsung Android as part of the Cabinet Office End User Devices Program.

Limitless possibilities for end users

Through the introduction of an extensive set of differentiated security and feature enhancements, Samsung Android smartphones and tablets provide limitless possibilities for end users while at the same time lowering costs and increasing security and manageability for IT administrators.

Samsung mobile devices running Android 4.2.2 or later offer the ability to fulfill UK Government requirements at information security classification level: OFFICIAL.

Samsung extends comprehensive Samsung Enterprise APIs to IT Admins including controls for data-at-rest and data-in-transit together with policy controls to configure devices such that they’ll be compliant with the security posture in IT environments.

Young Lee, executive vice-president of Europe for the company’s telecommunications operation, commented: “Samsung is delighted that CESG has recognised the commitment of Samsung Android as meeting the strict requirements mandated by UK public sector use.”

About the Samsung Android Platform

Samsung has built a comprehensive approach to making Android devices secure and manageable.

Samsung Enterprise APIs are a way to standardise the OS across multiple software versions and products.

Compatible devices running Samsung Android 4.2.2 or later offer the full range of enterprise-ready features and capabilities with support for over 397 IT Policies. This includes on-device AES-256 bit encryption, enhanced support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync™ and support for industry-leading Virtual Private Network (VPN) and Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions.

For more information visit: http://www.samsung.com/enterprise

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