The National Infrastructure Security Co-ordination Centre (NISCC) got a pat on the back today. Director of Roger Cumming received one of two annual awards from the research and education body the SANS Institute at its top 20 Internet Security Threats conference in London today.
"My mother says I am never lost for words, but this time I am," said Cumming. "We have tried very hard to share and collaborate with organisations. We will wear this with pride."
NISCC was established in 1999 to work on the physical protection of assets in the UK. The security body, which works closely with a variety of government agencies and vulnerability research business, earlier this year issued a warning of 13 vulnerabilities found in the MIME protocol. However, the main bulk of its work resides in mitigating risk in the UK's critical network infrastructure (CNI).
"We are looking for government leadership," said Alan Paller, director of research for SANS. "And government leadership in information security is challenging. The biggest challenge is involved with sharing. The UK government has done that and NISCC has done that."
Paller added that security vendors sometimes did not have the government's best interests at heart: "[Governments] are pushed by vendors who sell unsafe systems and who want to make money."
The CNI includes industries such as telecoms, energy, finance, water and health services.
This year NISCC has issued 37 alerts and given 533 briefings on security.
Cumming added: "There are so much data out there, organisations need some prioritisation process and SANS has given that. I hope we have made a small but relevant contribution."
SANS has 40,000 information security professional members worldwide. Each year it presents a list of the top 20 vulnerabilities. This is the first time the conference has been held in Europe.