Building a Line of Defense

At MWR InfoSecurity we are serious about doing our part in creating a more digitally secure society. Our aim is to help organizations build a line of defense against cyber attacks and, in doing so, protect the economy and livelihood of many people. In the modern context, the level of sophistication employed by most threat actors is well beyond that of the current defense capability of organizations. As such it requires a paradigm shift towards a more comprehensive, threat-centric approach to cyber resilience.

MWR uses a simplified adaptation from the NIST Cyber security framework to describe the capability domains organizations should strive to establish. These domains are known as Predict, Prevent, Detect and Respond (PPDR). Importantly, required capability within each of these domains need to be uniquely defined for each organization by taking into account the nature of its business, threat landscape and business assets.

With the above in mind, the services that MWR provide are loosely aligned with the PPDR framework, geared towards helping organizations become and remain resilient to cyber attack. Historically, and still today, conducting penetration testing (also known as vulnerability assessments) is disproportionately emphasised, whilst other critical areas such as detection and response are neglected. What’s more, although many cyber security service providers are able to conduct this penetration testing, it is not typically approached from a threat-centric perspective in context of the business.

At MWR we view this type of work as Security Assurance, predominantly aimed at assessing the effectiveness and presence of Preventative controls. As this forms part of the Prevent capability of an organization, conducting Security Assurance is still considered important, but should be balanced in relation to the other capability domains. To contribute effectively towards building a line of defense, conducting effective Security Assurance projects ought to be based on the following:

  • A thorough understanding of the business environment

Being aware of the business context within which the systems operate gives important input into the risk context and how vulnerabilities are reported.

  • A threat-centric, offensive mind-set

Testing from a threat-centric perspective means testing in the way that a malicious attacker would look to compromise the system, app or environment.

  • Comprehensive scoping

You test what you scope, if due attention during scoping is not given, a false sense of security may be the result.

  • Comprehensive and contextualized reporting

Simply having a long list of vulnerabilities with risk ratings provide little value, contextualising this within the business application and threat landscape is where true value is realised.



Accreditations & Certificates

MWR is an accredited member of The Cyber Security Incident Response Scheme (CSIR) approved by CREST (Council of Registered Ethical Security Testers).
MWR is certified under the Cyber Incident Response (CIR) scheme to deal with sophisticated targeted attacks against networks of national significance.
We are certified to comply with ISO 9001 and 14001 in the UK, internationally accepted standards that outline how to put an effective quality and environmental management systems in place.
MWR is certified to comply with ISO 27001 to help ensure our client information is managed securely.
As an Approved Scanning Vendor MWR is approved by PCI SSC to conduct external vulnerability scanning services to PCI DSS Requirement 11.2.2.
We are members of the Council of Registered Ethical Security Testers (CREST), an organisation serving the needs of the information security sector.
MWR is a supplier to the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), which provides commercial and procurement services to the UK public sector.
MWR is a Qualified Security Assessor, meaning we have been qualified by PCI to validate other organisation's adherence to PCI DSS.
As members of CHECK we are measured against high standards set by NCSC for the services we provide to Her Majesty's Government.
MWR’s consultants hold Certified Simulated Attack Manager (CCSAM) and Certified Simulated Attack Specialist (CCSAS) qualifications and are authorized by CREST to perform STAR penetration testing services.