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MoJ looks to beef up cyber capability

21/01/19

Mark Say Managing Editor

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is looking to strengthen its cyber security arrangements with new scanning capabilities and an analysis of its existing security monitoring solution.

Cyber lock on motherboard

Over the past few days it has published procurement notices aimed at identifying and plugging possible gaps in its capabilities.

One is to find a partner to help the ministry develop a scanning and open data intelligence platform on cyber security.

The move derives from a belief that it currently lacks the ability to fully understand the extent of its web operations and the implications for cyber security. It has cited the example of not knowing how many public websites are based on .justice.gov.uk and how many of them are configured with the transport layer security encryption protocol.

The notice says the MoJ wants to create a platform to gather technical indicators from a number of sources, including Amazon Web Services Route53 and Microsoft Azure DNS, utilise scanning techniques and import the data into an analytical toolset.

This should help its senior officials to identify where further investment on cyber security is needed.

Contracts ending

The second notice anticipates the end of the current contracts for its security operations centre next November and the relevant hardware and software in August 2020. The MoJ is seeking support in an assessment of its security monitoring solution, and taking a fresh look at the approach to the issue.

It says it has a goal of devising “pragmatic and cost-effective monitoring and response solutions” to protect its enterprise IT. At the moment it does not have a clear view of the costs and benefits of sticking with the existing solution or finding a new one; but it is ready to consider taking the security operations centre in-house.

The operation is currently in the discovery phase, and there have been some talks with cloud suppliers to determine relevant options.

Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0

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