back to article MoD: Our networks are in 'unacceptable' state and both data and IT bods are stuck in silos

The Ministry of Defence’s IT systems are “too fragmented, fragile, insecure and obsolescent” and its operators are “mired in industrial age processes and culture,” according to a new digital strategy document. Published earlier this week, the Digital Strategy for Defence paper is full of the usual MoD management-speak while …

  1. WanderingHaggis
    Mushroom

    Just a thought

    I'd of thought that MOD stuff not being on the internet i.e. along with data being locked inside “internal and contractual silos” making it “hard to access and integrate”. would be a good thing from a security perspective. We don't want some teen hacker accessing the polaris subs and playing wargames. Good hacking film.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just a thought

      Yes, and the more fragmented, the better. Last thing we should wish for is that they have it all on some seamless, leveraged, hyper-scalable easily accessible cloudy platform that every s'kiddie in China/Russia/Iran can understand, esp. some cloudy platform run by a foreign company. Perish the thought.

      1. jdiebdhidbsusbvwbsidnsoskebid

        Re: Just a thought

        Fragmented doesn't mean secure, unless you mean secure from being shared with other MOD staff. You can have a system that is easily accessible by all staff from within, and still secure enough from the outside. Costs a lot though.

    2. Korev Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Just a thought

      > We don't want some teen hacker accessing the polaris subs and playing wargames

      They can access the Polaris subs all they like, I expect the MOD will care more about Trident and the Vanguard boats these days though...

    3. jdiebdhidbsusbvwbsidnsoskebid

      Re: Just a thought

      MOD is big enough that "external" often means another agency within the MOD and not the real outside world. It's sometimes hard to share information between different agencies of the MOD because those agencies might have their own IT systems, that don't talk with each other.

    4. DevOpsTimothyC Bronze badge

      Re: Just a thought

      Exactly my thoughts, don't most militaries like to compartmentalize information for "security" purposes.

      After all it's much harder to deny the existence of all those black ops if they are easy to search

  2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    MoD will be treating data as “the mineral ore"

    So they'll be dressing up as police officers and beating up striking IT workers mining the data?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: MoD will be treating data as “the mineral ore"

      Didn't the army already do that in the miners strike?

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: MoD will be treating data as “the mineral ore"

        Woosh ......

  3. grizewald

    Secure?

    I fail to see how "secure" and "cloud-based" go together with each other.

    Instead, this report would appear to be the equivalent of painting a target on the MOD's back and shouting "come and hack us" from the roof of MOD Whitehall.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Secure?

      That's why you have an AirForce - to protect the clouds !

      1. Korev Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Secure?

        But what if they won't let the riff-RAF in?

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Secure?

      Precisely! Whose cloud and where are the servers?

      The bits of the report mentioned in the article make it sound as though the MoD is recruiting direct from a dedicated MBA university or maybe Shoreditch.

      Perhaps if they are looking for money they could start a crowd funder or try visiting a couple of VCs with a new tank.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Secure?

        >MoD is recruiting direct from a dedicated MBA university or maybe Shoreditch.

        Cry havoc and release the Management Consultants of War

        1. Trigonoceps occipitalis Silver badge

          Re: Secure?

          Cry havoc and let slip the Management Consultants of War

          FTFY

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Secure?

        > Precisely! Whose cloud and where are the servers?

        The MoDs.

        The Army has (or maybe had?) it's own D/Cs in a couple of locations even >10 years ago, and all "cloud" projects were being migrated to servers there - not cloud in the way we tend to think of it, so much as genericised hosting, with workloads in VMs rather than tied to hardware.

        Consultants might suggest spinning stuff up in AWS, but the services won't generally be happy with that. What you do see, though, is some level of infighting about whether it should be the Army, Navy or RAF who get the prestige of hosting anything that's used cross-service (logistics systems, obviously are one of those)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Secure?

          A Couple of years and a previous company ago (three letter company that is big and fairly new), I worked on the MoD project - they have two networks - one for the insecure stuff is hosted by MS, the secure stuff lives on their own servers in "secure" datacenters fairly close to each other in the south of England.

          the project was running years late and massively over budget - mainly because they had never had the right people in at the start (no designers when they would have been useful)

          I doubt it is much closer to completion even now.

    3. jdiebdhidbsusbvwbsidnsoskebid

      Re: Secure?

      Cloud based doesn't necessarily mean internet hosted, it could be a MOD internal cloud based system.

      1. DevOpsTimothyC Bronze badge
        Stop

        Re: Secure?

        Cloud based doesn't necessarily mean internet hosted

        Do you honestly expect the rest of us to believe you could adequately explain that to both the MP's involved AND the senior brass of the UK military ?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Secure?

          No explanation needed, they've already been running things that way for well over a decade.

          Strangely enough, they weren't happy with putting things into public clouds, even in the early days of them

  4. xyz Silver badge

    Uhoh...

    Sounds like this was written by people who don't understand the word "secure". MoD IT may be a pile of shite but that's because of the environment they have to operate in. I could tell you countless MoD fucks ups like REDACTED or when REDACTED or that time REDACTED. etc.

    Buzzword bingo bozos meet immovable object time and after 2 years of work and countless millions get wasted on project soopadoopa, it'll get quietly dropped.

    1. macjules Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Uhoh...

      Fair due, how would they understand since all the IT contractors left several years ago? MoD now has a few contractors inside IR35 getting ripped off by seedy offshore umbrella companies and producing rubbish products*

      * https://www.contracts.mod.uk is a good example. Why not have a website that lists every API call you use within its response headers?

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. gryphon

    Azure Secret

    Was there not a story here a few months ago saying that MS could now supply an Azure tenant at the secret level for DoD in the US?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Azure Secret

      Yes that's rather the problem.

      Having your cloud provider be a close confident of an enemy military is generally cause for concern.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Azure Secret

      It's not secret, we all know about it.

      Anon due to secrecy.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In English, the verb is "to lever"

    So that phrase would correctly read, "for Defence to lever Digital and our Data."

    Which means there is a large mass of Digital to be moved by Defence and the fulcrum is... oh! I do believe it is all nonsense!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Four F-35s in that picture

    Didn't know we had that many.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Four F-35s in that picture

      We have Photoshop (actually we have MS-Paint, the F35 budget doesn't stretch to Photoshop)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh no, this means awarding Fujitsu more of the MoDs work.

    On the bright side though, this also means that if you've ever wanted to be a *DBA but have no idea what a **Database is, you're in luck and congratulations on your new role with Fujitsu!

    * Insert Job description of your choice (e.g. Messaging engineer)

    ** Insert technology of your choice (e.g. Microsoft Exchange

    Of course your lack of experience is the reason why they'll be paying you way below market rate, but it worked for them on their Horizon Post Office project, their (very profitable for them thanks to suing the NHS for £700m because the NHS done to them what the Post Office should have, that is kick them off the contract for failing) NHS National Programme for IT project, their Libra project for magistrates court etc. etc.

    Serco and Crapita do get a lot of stick (and they deserve it), but neither are anywhere near as bad as Fujitsu for failing at delivering Government run projects.

    1. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
      Coat

      but neither are anywhere near as bad as Fujitsu for failing at delivering Government run projects

      Only Fujitsu?

      Do not forget IBM, Accenture.

  10. Aussie Doc Bronze badge
    Flame

    Optional sarcasm here

    "Secure" "cloud"

    Pick one.

    I'll set you up for less than whomever gets the nod.

    Can't do it this weekend, though - have a bbq to go to.

    Prepared to drag the project out as long as you want though.

    How my snags will probably end up ----------------------------------------------------------^^

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Then there's the problem of mobile phones on the battlefield.....and so on...........

    Link: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-cyber-ukraine-idUSKBN14B0CU

    *

    1. MOBILES

    Soldier in Ukraine steps out of bunker and fires up his mobile phone to talk to his wife. Five minutes later, the bunker is under a fierce artillery barrage sent over by the Russian army.......

    *

    So......it's not just the "infrastructure", the "databases", the "cloud" (private or public).........................there's quite a lot to be managed in terms of personal technology (or not!!!).

    *

    2. GPS

    Link: https://lloydslist.maritimeintelligence.informa.com/LL1128820/Seized-UK-tanker-likely-spoofed-by-Iran

    Link: https://www.gpsworld.com/gps-circle-spoofing-discovered-in-iran/

    For example, news above is from the Gulf of Hormuz -- where GPS might show ships that they are located miles inland!!!

    3. SUMMARY

    This article in El Reg is pretty poor in scope.......Even if the MOD get the billions to build a modern UK-based infrastructure..........there's still plenty of scope for bad actors to get in the way of "global reach"!!!!!!

    *

    Just saying!!

  12. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Buzzwords and other platitudes

    I wonder how much was paid for this report? Whatever the price, it doesn't sound as a good investment anyway

  13. Anne Hunny Mouse
    Coat

    DII?

    Wasn't DII supposed to deal with all this segregation.

    Yes, I know it was #!@@

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