While working as a Security Assurance Co-ordinator for an innovative secure mobile solution, Amethyst’s consultant was asked by the project team to lend support to a project at short notice.
The task was to provide a minimal viable project (MVP) for a secure, standalone cloud solution based on Microsoft’s Azure cloud architecture. The aim of the experimental project was to utilise Azure Stack Hub (ASH) to provide cloud-like connectivity in remote areas of low or non-existent network coverage.
This was then utilised on a multi-national exercise, providing a range of geolocational and mapping features, supported by terabytes (TBs) of open-source mapping data transferred from the Internet to ASH, to be used by teams on exercise.
At short notice, the Amethyst consultant engaged with the project team, commercial partners, and MOD accreditors to determine additional security controls and establish security management of the system. A risk assessment was created to articulate the level of risk to MOD data and presented to the accreditor in the form of a Technical Security Case. This entire process was conducted in less than five working days.
The system was then used in the UK for pre-deployment training, with the Amethyst consultant acting as Security Controller, establishing solutions for a range of challenges that were presented, such as secure movement of physical hard drives containing TBs of bulk data, ensuring secure upload to MOD systems and secure sanitisation of storage media post-exercise.
This led to successful short-term accreditation of the system for use on exercise, providing an essential example of how military operations can be supported and access bulk data in locations where connectivity is not possible due to coverage limitations or a need to remain covert.
The project team admitted that without flexible support of the consultant, this system would have not attained the necessary accreditation to enable use on exercise and would have left a significant capability gap.
It also demonstrates how the accreditation process can be streamlined for short-duration projects when all stakeholders are aligned and share a common goal.