The UK’s new Government Security Classifications (GSC) policy has been produced and those bodies which are bound by it – essentially all those to whom the Security Policy Framework applies – now have a year or so to work how it they need to implement it – and how to deal with legacy systems and information. The three new classifications – Top Secret, Secret and Official – will replace the current six Protective Markings.
This is an exciting opportunity to simplify the data classification system, to work with national authorities to rationalise protection mechanisms, and to align the way that the UK does business with industry and international partners.
Further refinements of the policy will doubtless continue to emerge from the Cabinet Office and from CESG over the coming months – the go-live date is now confirmed as 2nd April 2014. It is important not to fixate on that date – this is not meant to be Y2K all over again.
The arrangements that are currently good enough to handle information will still be good enough this time next year. We fully expect that the new policy will take a technology generation to bed in.
What can we expect over the next few months? While the new Top Secret will look and feel pretty much like the current Top Secret, there will be new products and handling arrangements which will better protect the new Secret. It will be easier for government – all levels – to do business with each and with industry. There will be more empowerment of people to take topical decisions about how to release Official information – and it will help those entrusted with valuable assets to pragmatically do business in a cost-effective way.
We welcome this new Government Security Classifications policy, and look forward to working with our government clients and our channel partners in helping to make it work better for all of us.
Read more about how we can support your transition to Government Security Classifications.