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Typical Work

Due to the sensitive nature of the work undertaken, BladeSec IA Services Ltd. cannot usually disclose any details, however, we have specific experience in the following areas:-
  • Implementing the standard government approach to information assurance by applying the Cabinet Office's Security Policy Framework (and historically, the Manual of Protective Security);
  • The accreditation of information systems. This has included legacy, standalone, complex and widely networked systems in criminal justice, devolved government and agencies. Recent experience has seen us utilise G-Cloud and public cloud to delivery government and criminal justice services;
  • Performing risk assessments using HMG IS 1 version 2, HMG IA Standard 1 version 3 and HMG IA Standard 1/2 version 4. Performing upgrades between the various versions. Translating risk assessments into English for presentation to C-level executives;
  • The development of risk balanced cases and security cases in accordance with HMG IS1 Part 2 or HMG IS1/2. Defining and implementing suitable countermeasures to mitigate risk to an appropriate level;
  • Development of cost effective or cost limited Risk Management and Accreditation Documentation Sets (RMADS) in accordance with HMG IA Standard 2 version 3 or HMG IA Standard 1/2 version 4;
  • Development of Security Operating Procedures (SyOPs). Over the years, some of the more interesting ones have included:-
    • Security Incident Management;
    • Background and Identity Checks;
    • Mobile and Home Working;
    • Line Managers' Responsibilities;
    • Forensics Readiness; &
    • Asset Classification and Handling.
  • Technical Design Authority including network design using assured barriers. This has included:-
    • Remote access solutions in compliance with GPG10 (including the use of bootable media);
    • Protecting government networks from the Internet in accordance with GPG8;
    • Authentication in accordance with HMG IS7;
    • Mobile e-mail solutions (historically, just BlackBerry devices, but more recently the End User Device Strategy); &
    • Protective monitoring policies aligned to GPG13.
  • Interpretation of Codes of Connection for organisations linking to a trusted community:-
    • The Public Services Network (PSN);
    • Criminal Justice networks such as the CJX and the PSN for Policing at all levels; &
    • Legacy GSi connections including xGSI, GSX and GCSX as well as the migration to GCF.
  • Technical assurance requirements such as IT Health Checks that cover:-
    • Scoping using different techniques such as sampling, intelligence led and full;
    • Interpretation of results to provide a context and defence-in-depth;
    • Systems under development to ensure acceptable "end-to-end" testing; &
    • Technical evaluations of cloud architectures using traditional IT Health Checks and other mechanisms to ensure appropriate pre-live and in-life assurance.
  • Advising commercial organisations on the supply of goods and services to HMG.
  • Contractual negotiations between HMG and the commercial organisations.
  • Corporate management of risk and the evaluation of an appropriate level of risk appetite.
  • Safeguarding the Critical National Infrastructure of the UK including Sensitive Nuclear Information (SNI) for "List N".
  • Complying and certifying with ISO/IEC 27001. This includes the application of the Baseline Control Set (as defined in HMG IS1/2) at various levels.
  • Handling of legacy Government Protective Marking Scheme (GPMS) information and developing proportionate handling instructions.
  • Assisting in the transition and migration to the new Government Security Classification Policy including specific handling instructions for staff to prevent the unauthorised disclosure of information;
  • Background and identity checks of staff as well as the detection of fraudulent documentation.
  • The development and generation of security, education, awareness and training (SEAT):-
    • HMG IS1, RMADS and Accreditation (Owen was the original author of the widely acclaimed Sapphire course.);
    • Computer forensics; &
    • General information assurance awareness education including induction, SyOP and refresher training.