Blog post

CyberUK in Practice Track 3: Proactive Defence

Created:  13 Mar 2017
Updated:  13 Mar 2017
Author:  Ian M
Proactive defence

When there has been a security problem it is really easy to look back in hindsight and say 'well obviously they should have done [insert your favourite security 101 here]'. We have learnt through experience that applying such a reactive approach to security often doesn't work.

Track 3 of CyberUK In Practice - Proactive Defence - was put together by Shane, and explores how we can be much more proactive in our approach to securing systems. We have some great insights from customers, industry and our own teams about how we can use new technologies or approaches to defend our systems or help us to work in new ways. I'm really excited by the content in Shane's track, which promises some fantastic technical sessions.

Shane kicks off the track with a session led by Andy on our Secure by Default Partnership Programme. This talk will bring you up to date with progress made illustrated through some excellent case studies from the Judicial Appointments Commission, Ofqual (that's the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) and West Berkshire Council, followed by plans for the rest of the year.

After lunch we'll be 'sinking the phishers'. We'll be describing how we're using DMARC to stop the bad guys spoofing public sector emails. Ed from HMRC and Nick from GDS will talk about the steps being taken in the UK government, whilst Mike from Netcraft will talk about how they counteract phishing and malware.

We finish day one of the track with a great, deep technical talk from Ollie, from NCC Group. Ollie will be describing modern operating system security, and taking us through a whirlwind tour of the security features available in modern mobile and desktop operating systems and processors. 

Day 2 promises more excellent, technical content. The first slot of the day is split into two halves. Firstly Gavin from Nominet and Rob from the NCSC will talk about how we are using DNS as an Active Cyber Defence measure. Nominet will talk about how they are effectively using DNS analytics at scale to identify and sink DDoS attacks, malware and spam. Secondly, Sam from our Commercial Assurance Team will present on DMARC, the server-less micro-service architecture behind Mailcheck. This will include a live demonstration of how we use infrastructure as code and pipeline as code, to continuously integrate the solution. 

After lunch, Alex from Amazon Web Services (AWS) will be talking about protections designed to protect against the malicious insider. This is followed by a panel session led by James. We have Alex, Ben from Microsoft, Mahbubal from DWP, and Eleanor from the NCSC, on the panel, so bring along all of those tough cloud security questions you might be pondering! 

This promises to be a really exciting track full of good technical content. I'm convinced it will give us a lot to think about on the journey home!

Ian M

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