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Thales enables compliance with key provisions of the UK Ministry of Defence’s DEFCON 658



The UK Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) DEFCON 658 aims to protect the defence supply chain from cyber threats, and applies to organisations that are suppliers or wish to become suppliers to the MOD on contracts that handle MOD Identifiable Information (MODII).

Thales’s Vormetric Data Security Platform provides tools to help you comply with DEFCON 658, including:

  • Access control ensure only credentialed users can retrieve sensitive data
  • Security intelligence logs identify irregular access patterns and breaches in progress
  • Strong encryption and key management renders sensitive data useless to unauthorized users
  • Regulation
  • Compliance


DEFCON 658, which took effect in October 2017, is a procurement protocol on cybersecurity that requires all suppliers to Defence who bid for new contracts that necessitate the transfer of MODII to abide by DEFCON 658 and meet the standards mandated in DEFSTAN 05-138. Notably, adherence to DEFCON 658 extends to the supply chains (sub-contractors) of the suppliers themselves.


Where DEFCON 658 applies to all suppliers throughout the MOD supply chain where MODII is involved, organisations that do not adhere to its requirements will not be able to participate in MOD contracts.

Compliance Summary

The DEF STAN 05-138 includes several controls specific to the protection of sensitive information, as outlined below.

Thales provides data security solutions that help address these controls, as indicated. Note that while the controls are defined based on the risks associated with the contract (Low, Medium or High), Thales’s solutions apply across similar controls simultaneously, and are therefore consolidated below.

Control MeasureThales Coverage

L.07 Define and implement a policy to control access to information and information processing facilities.

M.06 Ensure the organisation has identified asset owners and asset owners control access to their assets.

L.12 Define and implement a policy to manage the access rights of user accounts.Thales’s Vormetric Data Security Platform provides state of the art user access control:

Separation of privileged access users and sensitive user data. With the Vormetric Data Security Platform, administrators can create a strong separation of duties between privileged administrators and data owners. Vormetric Transparent Encryption encrypts files, while leaving their metadata in the clear. In this way, IT administrators—including hypervisor, cloud, storage, and server administrators—can perform their system administration tasks, without being able to gain privileged access to the sensitive data residing on the systems they manage.

Separation of administrative duties. Strong separation-of- duties policies can be enforced to ensure one administrator does not have complete control over data security activities, encryption keys, or administration. In addition, the Vormetric Data Security Manager supports two-factor authentication for administrative access.

Granular privileged access controls. The Vormetric platform can enforce very granular, least-privileged-user access management policies, enabling protection of data from misuse by privileged users and APT attacks. Granular privileged-user-access management policies can be applied by user, process, file type, time of day, and other parameters. Enforcement options can control not only permission to access clear-text data, but what file-system commands are available to a user.

L.10 Define and implement an information security policy, related processes and procedures.

M.04 Define and implement a policy for storing, accessing, and handling sensitive information securely.Detailed security policies. The platform delivers centralized controls that enable consistent and repeatable management of encryption, access policies and security intelligence for all your structured and unstructured data. It is available as FIPS 140-2 and Common Criteria certified virtual and physical appliances.

Extensibility. Built on an extensible infrastructure, components of the Vormetric Data Security Platform can be deployed individually, while offering efficient, centralized key and policy management.

Robust security for sensitive data. Thales helps protect sensitive data through Vormetric Transparent Encryption with integrated Key Management for data at rest, Application Encryption, Tokenization with Dynamic Masking. These techniques make the data meaningless and worthless without the keys to decrypt it.

L.16 Define and implement an incident management policy, which must include detection, resolution and recovery.Security intelligence. The Vormetric Platform provides security intelligence logs that specify which processes and users have accessed protected data, under which policies, and if access requests were allowed or denied. The management logs will even expose when a privileged user submits a command like ‘switch users’ in order to attempt to imitate, and potentially exploit, the credentials of another user. Sharing these logs with a security information and event management (SIEM) platform helps uncover anomalous patterns in processes and user access, which can prompt further investigation. For example, an administrator or process may suddenly access much larger volumes of data than normal, or attempt to do an unauthorized download of files. These events could point to an APT attack or malicious insider activities.

M.16 Define and implement a policy to secure organisational assets when individuals cease to be employed by your organisation.Privileged access controls and intelligence logs. The Vormetric platform’s granular access management policies can be applied by user and access can be revoked for individuals who have left the organisation. Any denied attempts to access sensitive data will be captured by Vormetric’s security intelligence logs.



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