Security

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Atkins is a major supplier of services to the security sector. We have a strong track record of delivering complex transformation programmes of national significance to security clients.

About

Prudent design and security decisions to meet the potential threat of crime and terrorism help to mitigate the impact. Atkins has assisted clients worldwide in the design development of security projects.

We are a key supplier of consulting services to UK Government, with specific focus in security and intelligence, police, fire and defence sectors. We provide organisational change, business strategy, programme management, and other services.

Our team of security consultants combine technical security knowledge and operational security experience, gained in a wide variety of countries and cultures, to deliver the best solutions to our clients. Our team includes registered security specialists with recognised international organisations, professional engineers and experienced project staff.

Atkins’ approach is to design out vulnerability and design in security. This enables the most efficient, effective and enduring security solutions.

Our consultancy services incorporate all aspects from masterplanning and concept design to security strategies, a full design capability and implementation support and assurance.

Regardless of the project size and complexity, our aim is to provide a fully integrated end-to-end solution that is innovative in its approach to emerging threats and technologies. We enable our clients to understand the main threats to their business and develop appropriate strategies to counter them.

Atkins helps clients in the security sector to structure and deliver multi-million pound portfolios of capability development with a single programme office providing support to a number of business critical programmes, themes and projects.

In addition we help our customers with the provision of support to product development centres. Atkins provides portfolio, project and programme consultancy support to our clients.

FEATURES

Expertise

Atkins has a broad experience in the security sector and strong portfolio of skills. This enables the delivery of security solutions designed to defeat emerging threats faced by our clients.

Behavioural

We help customers understand the importance of creating a positive culture within an organisation where management and staff contribute effortlessly towards shared protective security objectives.

Cyber

Our impact focused, risk based approach builds the appropriate cyber security controls into the fabric of organisations. We ensure you can deter, defend and detect the inevitable attempts to compromise your operation.

Identity Assurance

We have experience of delivering identity assurance solutions in a number of environments covering commercial, military and civil aviation sites and premises.

Business Continuity

Atkins services are designed to put in place clear planned responses to business continuity challenges.

Industrial control systems

For industrial control systems, availability and reliability are the key priorities, in contrast with IT in general, where the overriding concern is confidentiality.

Physical

Covering all aspects of physical security across commercial infrastructure, transport systems, military facilities and airport security services.

Angles

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Richard Piggin
19 May 2017

The WannaCry or Wanna Decryptor malware has affected 150 countries, including the United Kingdom, United States, Spain, Russia, Taiwan, France, and Japan. Several variants have already been reported, all presently targeting Windows-based operating systems, including embedded versions. Further variations, which could target other operating systems such as Linux, are anticipated. Early indications suggested email phishing campaigns initially infected computers, using email attachments and malicious websites links have been confirmed. The worm then spreads across networks. While assurances have been given regarding the loss of patient data, the malware provides backdoor access to victim’s computers, so data theft is a distinct possibility. Yet, the issue isn’t just about the security of patient information, it’s also about preventing patient harm. This is not an isolated incident. Similar incidents have already occurred in the healthcare sector, even in the UK. Only a few hospitals were affected, attracting limited publicity and concern. Many more medical facilities belonging to the U.S. MedStar Health provider were severely disrupted last year. The impact of such attacks also feature in a new BSI publication on Medical Device Cyber Security, which describes the convergence of safety and security risk, along with defensive principles. Other sectors have also been impacted  including UK,  French and Romanian car plants and the German rail operator. Spanish victims included telecoms multinational Telefonica, and utilities Iberdrola and Gas Natural. Critical infrastructure asset owners have been impacted by ransomware in the past, including several power utilities. Organisations with unsupported operating systems or ineffective patching programmes will continue to be vulnerable. At best,

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Philip Barton
17 Mar 2017

Having had time to digest the major themes in this report, I think that the Government at the time seemed determined to establish the Cyber Essentials scheme as key parts of UK SMEs cyber tool kits, and to leverage the insurance industry to secure that goal. The message was that Cyber Essentials or Cyber Essentials Plus compliance would deserve a reduced premium, as well as enabling greater cyber-risk awareness among SMEs. The report indicated that cyber insurance firms were likely to offer support in becoming Cyber Essentials certified as part of the insurance process. This patently did not happen as planned, and the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) are yet to pick up the reins sufficiently to consider cyber insurance guidance. The report was aimed squarely at SME cyber risk in the IT space, with brief mention that Cyber Essentials may not be appropriate, or rigorous enough, for many manufacturing industries. Regulated industries and critical infrastructure will have their own regimes to follow, so what for the SME manufacturing industries? The NIST cyber security framework or the SANS 20 controls are an excellent starting point, not to mention the many standards that exist such as ISO/IEC27001, ISA/IEC62443 etc. An obvious barrier to widespread adoption of worthwhile, insurance-backed, cyber security in the industrial arena is having sufficiently good cyber forensic capability in place to be able to back up any claim. In the event of an incident, the bias for most manufacturing organisations is naturally toward production and not to preserving evidence;

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Lee Woodcock
07 Mar 2017

Reflecting on the past few months, it’s prompted me to think about Smart Cities, a phrase that’s not new, has promised so much and in my view, delivered so little. But, with a surge of new technology, digital disruption, entry of new market players and budget challenges for the public sector – could this be the catalyst for change? With this in mind, coupled with new themes and trends emerging globally across the industry, I wanted to take a moment and make five Intelligent Mobility predictions for 2017… Data Exploitation and Visualisation: This year we will see the emergence of new platforms, at pace. Data is arguably the life blood of a modern transport systems and critically important to unlocking value from new transport schemes, mobility solutions and customer tailored services. It will be through inter-operability, we see a drive towards ‘Platform as a Service’ across the sector which is here to critically disrupt the way we currently model, plan and deliver transport services globally in cities and urban areas. Journey Management: We will witness the breakdown of silos across the transport system, with the deployment of critical technology solutions that cut across organisational and operational barriers. The surge of new payment systems will start to deliver seamless and positive customer journey experiences through account based ticketing systems. This will mean no more management of multiple Apps or cards – one account for the individual or family, think Sky-Go package. Connected and Autonomous Vehicles: A huge amount of R&D is currently underway globally,

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Richard Piggin
26 Jan 2017

The most recent campaign is reported to have commenced on 6 December, continuing through to 20 December. Vsevolod Kovalchuk, a director at the Ukrainian national energy company Ukrenergo, told Reuters that the 200 megawatt interruption was equivalent to approximately a fifth of Kiev's night time energy consumption, and that the scale of the interruption was very rare. The automation was shut down in the Pivnichna power transmission substation located north of Kiev. The remote terminal units (RTUs) opened circuit breakers, causing a power outage that lasted for 75 minutes. Power was restored manually, with full restoration early the following morning. Power loss was reported in northern Kiev and on the eastern bank of the Dnieper River and the surrounding area. The Ukrenergo director described ‘external influences’ effecting workstations and SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) servers, and anomalies with transmission network data. Although investigations are ongoing, in the meantime researchers have confirmed significant similarities to the power outage a year earlier. This includes phishing attacks, with malware embedded in Microsoft document macros, and traces of BlackEnergy 3 malware used in the attacks targeting Ukraine Government organisations. Oleksii Yasnskiy of ISSP labs, distinguished the more recent attacks, using significant obfuscation: “Being more complex and better organised.” Marina Krotofil, a security researcher at Honeywell Industrial Cyber Security Lab contrasted the previous damaging attack: “They could do many more things, but obviously they didn’t have this as an intent. It was more like a demonstration of capabilities.” Ukrainian media and security researchers have also

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Projects

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As part of its focus on continually improving its people, processes and information, EDF recognised the need to gain a better understanding of its staff’s security awareness and training needs so that a specific programme could be developed to meet their continual learning requirement in this area. Atkins worked closely with the client for over three years providing professional advice, analysis and solutions through the full lifecycle of organisational learning and development. This work included development of better learning and development solutions for a range of requirements, such as: • Support for the design and implementation of a structured training programme for the internal regulation department of around 60 people • Design and support of training-related management information and reporting • Design and implementation of a major e-learning PC-based training package on Basic Nuclear Principles Refreshment to be used by over 400 people on a cyclical basis • Participation in key self-assessments relating to organisational learning and development improvements that will support the re-accreditation of the Engineering Support training programme against industry standards. These support services were key to EDF achieving training standards accreditation for one of the largest single training programmes in the world. This has in turn provided credibility for lifetime extension programmes for the company’s existing nuclear fleet and new build programmes. Our support has meant that EDF can clearly demonstrate that they have control of their nuclear resources in a measurable and systematic programme which has a clear view of the challenges in addressing an aging demographic and a finite industry

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Horizon was particularly aware of the issues surrounding the UK approach to security of control and protection systems. Realising that it did not possess detailed knowledge of evolving best practice and regulatory requirements, our client wished to undertake a comprehensive review of relevant standards, guidance and approaches, as well the expectations of bodies that provided security advice. Atkins was chosen to undertake this security standards review. Our work addressed UK best practice and other well established industry methods from around the world. Nuclear best practice was also discussed, including the US NRC 5.71 Regulatory Guide, which had already adopted international good practice, albeit through a very prescriptive implementation. We reviewed the best practice and standards utilised for securing Industrial Control Systems (ICS) and produced a comprehensive overview, assessment and recommendations on future practice. Our review included: The ISO/IEC 27001/27002 series: • ISA99 – Industrial Automation and Control System Security • IEC 62443 – Industrial Communication Networks Network and System Security • NIST SP 800-82 Guide to Industrial Control Systems (ICS) Security • NRC Regulatory Guide 5.71 Cyber Security Programs for Nuclear Facilities. At the end of the comprehensive review, Atkins produced two briefing papers. The first of these covered ICS security best practice, emerging developments and a forward-looking strategy. The second paper concentrated upon nuclear safety protection systems. The briefing papers, follow up presentations, and meetings provided Horizon with a detailed understanding of the security and safety practices which they then used to inform their strategic planning.

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HE partnered with their Netherlands equivalent, Rijkswaterstaat (RWS), to help overcome their legacy system drawbacks. Both wished to develop a future operating model that delivered a modern and open technology platform and effective supply chain that would improve the resilience and efficiency of their road networks. Atkins were tasked with developing the security requirements for the Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS) operating model, and supporting its delivery through an open tender process to enable appropriate suppliers to provide the new solution. We worked in collaboration with HE and RWS, integrating our subject matter experts into the project team. This allowed us to agree a joint security approach which would took into account the different cultural, business, security and legislative concerns that the two partners faced. By working closely with all stakeholders, we determined the existing operational structures, business goals and service requirements. We reviewed UK and Dutch security standards and Governmental requirements and negotiated a joint approach to meet these. Finally, we developed a ‘to-be’ security operating model to meet business requirements for input into ‘Pre-qualification questionnaire’ (PQQ) and ‘Invitation to tender’ (ITT) contract phases and proposed and agreed approaches for the formal accreditation of ATMS. Our security-focused business systems analysis and requirements development led to a detailed set of building block deliverables at functional and technical levels. These included the specific application, infrastructure, hosting and platform components. The completion of this project provided HE and RWS with a pragmatic and realistic view of the threat environment for information assets with a

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The client had found it difficult, expensive and disruptive to their programme portfolio to maintain and manage a pool of experienced security consultants with the necessary analysis and security artefact-creation skills required to support the accreditation decision. Due to the finite resource, deciding which projects would benefit most from the IA consultants’ skills was also proving challenging. As a result, there was a risk of critical systems either remaining unaccredited or being accredited on the basis of an inadequate risk assessment. We worked with the client to develop a new managed service approach to the provision of security that brought together all the necessary expertise into a single team. Through the creation and implementation of a security catalogue, we provided key security and accreditation activities for the client. These covered business impact identification, risk assessment, threat and vulnerability analysis, and current and new service/system ‘as-is’ security reviews. Also included were estate and system architecture advice and design, policy and standards gap analyses, and accreditation and risk management. In addition, our (previously CLAS) accredited security consultants provided specialist security support or management to particular projects over an extended period. Through the implementation of managed accreditor services we coached, mentored and trained the client’s junior accreditors. This proved to increase the client’s capabilities in accreditation and developed the organisation’s information risk management maturity. Our managed security consultancy service provided specialist advice to the client that is now an embedded part of the enterprise architecture. Our specialist expertise was also applied to the client’s department-wide information assurance enhancement

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As a significant element of the IT estate was legacy, the key challenge our client faced was understanding where information assets were stored and processed. This knowledge gap meant that DWP was unable to properly quantify and understand their risk exposure to help develop effective mitigation strategies. DWP therefore approached Atkins to perform a threat and risk assessment of their IT estate, specifically looking at key information assets and how they were stored, accessed, transmitted and processed. Atkins worked closely with DWP across a four month programme to provide a snapshot threat, security risk, and maturity assessment of key information assets across the IT estate. We identified IT and business stakeholders for engagement and reviewed DWP security approaches, policies, procedures and IT architecture to obtain the wider IT estate view. Quantitative and qualitative data was also collected on the shape of the IT estate through documentation reviews, workshops and interviews. This was then employed to identify the flow of data, potential threats and vulnerabilities. Finally, we identified key security risks and opportunities to reduce and mitigate these. We then developed strategic recommendations for the ownership and management of key information assets. As a result of this work, senior stakeholders obtained a quantified view of information asset risk across the DWP IT estate. Our threat assessment recognised what would make DWP an attractive target, as well as highlighting the key threat actors and the likely attack vectors. Clear and concise prioritised expert guidance was also provided relating to information asset risk mitigation activities. This informed

UK ,

Without a clear and deep understanding of their current cyber posture, the client’s leadership team were unable to identify their risk exposure or to develop an effective strategy for cyber resilience. Atkins were selected to perform a cyber risk assessment to identify the key challenges, threats and risks to Government-provisioned services, broader critical national infrastructure and key economic activity. The review would need to establish a realistic picture of the client’s level of resilience and their capability to respond to a serious cyber-attack. Working in collaboration with the client and key stakeholders, we developed a snapshot cyber threat and risk assessment. This provided a measurement of maturity assessment relating to their key assets. A series of sequenced and integrated work packages were also created. These focused on identifying Government and business stakeholders for engagement and reviewing existing security approaches, strategies and policies to obtain a wider national view. The work packages also involved collecting and analysing data on the state of the nation through events, workshops, interviews and reviews, and identifying key security threats, risks and opportunities to reduce risk and improve resilience. As a result of the risk assessment activity, potential threats, attack vectors and vulnerabilities were also highlighted, along with identification of what would make the client an attractive target. Our client’s senior stakeholders obtained a realistic view of the maturity of their cyber defence, with key areas of weakness and strength identified across Government and business sectors. Clear and concise prioritised expert recommendations, based on the client’s technology, people and processes, were then provided

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The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) wished to commission collaborative research for the Ministry of Defence (MOD) into the relationship between people and cyber/ information assurance. Particular focus was required on the human and cultural issues relevant to risk and friction points associated with the design of policy and procedure. Atkins collaborated with University College London (UCL), bringing together industry, commercial and academic expertise to undertake this research. A set of customised assessments were developed to be undertaken by MOD staff using a specialised tool. This helped to identify an individual’s security understanding within their working environment, to highlight skills and knowledge gaps and focus on behaviours that may pose a risk to security compliance. Through this research it was identified that current security practice reduces productivity by introducing rules that often create a conflict with the individual’s primary task and are consequently circumvented. The work conducted represented new and innovative thinking leading to a number of achievable recommendations across the MOD. These would ultimately lead to a new paradigm in the way systems, policies and procedures were developed and implemented. Research outcomes of the identification of friction, and understanding of what is causing it, can also form the basis for a potentially lower friction solution that operators can comply with.

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A UK critical national infrastructure energy company wished to secure its Industrial Control Systems (ICS) and SCADA from this potential threat. They particularly wished to understand which ICS information was available in the public domain that could be obtained by a potential adversary. Atkins was appointed to undertake an open source vulnerability assessment on behalf of the client, thanks to our deep knowledge of ICS security. We undertook an analytical investigation using mainstream media, blogs, social media, sector-specific journals, academic material, web 2.0 and industrial sector websites. Each threat was assessed and recommendations were proposed to both reduce the open source footprint and mitigate against the risk. Our assessment was divided into various categories, including mapping, social media, ICS, and outward-facing IT architecture. To illustrate the increased threat to ICS to the client, freely available tools were used to demonstrate the identification of networked control systems, their vulnerabilities and how they might be exploited. As a result of our assessment, our client’s new understanding of the potential threats to their ICS and adoption of our recommended mitigation measures has helped to improve security and safety for their company. Our vulnerability assessment ensured our client’s corporate risk assessment process was more effective and allowed them to take a more considered stance on mitigation and planning for attack. Our assessment also identified a number of vulnerabilities in critical systems that they were subsequently able to patch, helping to protect both revenues and shareholder returns. Given our client’s status as part of the nation's infrastructure,

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Products

MALPAS

Malpas  

MALPAS is one of the world’s most rigorous and advanced software analysis and verification toolsets. It has been used to verify secure software for Government and Armed Services Communications.
www.malpas-global.com

Locations

For more information on our work and experience in this sector please contact:

UK & Europe

Andrew Wall 
Principal Consultant
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 1242 54 6278
Email: holistic@atkinsglobal.com

           


Middle East

Graham Outterside
Managing director
United Arab Emirates
Tel: +971 4 405 9300
Email: graham.outterside@atkinsglobal.com

Resources

In this section you can find thought leadership articles produced by Atkins for the security sector.

Title Format Size
Threat level pdf 320KB

In this section you can find technical papers, thought leadership articles and brochures produced by Atkins for the security sector.

Title Format Size
Holistic security services pdf 468KB
Securing strategic advantage pdf 1.0MB

Careers

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