MDS Technologies Limited

Protective Monitoring as a Service (ALM-SIEM)

Using the Assuria Log Manager (ALM-SIEM) application, we offer a forensically secure automated log collection and reporting service to help you meet your PSN, IG Toolkit, GPG13 and other similar log management requirements. ALM-SIEM is a CESG Certified Claims Tested Mark (CCTM) accredited SIEM.


  • Managed cloud-based Monitoring & Reporting Service
  • Independent view of security events across your IT Infrastructure
  • All logs are forensically collected and securely stored
  • Scalable collection capability of 1.4 Billion logs per day
  • Baseline Service aligned with GPG13 Recording Profile A
  • Deter Service aligned with GPG13 Recording Profile B
  • Suitable for PSN, HSCN and other security and compliance requirements
  • Uses the Assuria Log Management (ALM-SIEM) product
  • Daily, weekly and monthly reporting available
  • File Integrity Monitoring (FIM)


  • Assists organisations in meeting compliance and security requirements
  • CESG CCTM Accredited solution
  • Service delivered by MDS a UK company
  • Customisable to meet specific accreditor interpretations of GPG13
  • Vulnerability management processes compliant to ISO27001:2013
  • Supports a wide range of log formats
  • Management of solution via our UK Service Desk


£15 a server a month

Service documents


G-Cloud 12

Service ID

8 7 3 4 8 5 8 3 5 3 8 6 7 2 8


MDS Technologies Limited Ben Grantham
Telephone: 01225 816280

Service scope

Service constraints
Customers must provide a suitable IaaS platform to host the service, MDS can offer this as a separate service if required.
System requirements
  • IaaS to support the ALM-SIEM Management server
  • SQL Server database for log collection

User support

Email or online ticketing support
Email or online ticketing
Support response times
P1 - Critical - 30 Minute response, Mon-Friday 0800-1800 Exc Bank & Public Holidays, 1 Hour Response outside of business hours
P2- Urgent- 1 Hour Response 24/7
P3- Low Business Impact or Interruption - Within 3 Business Hours
P4- Non Urgent Request - Within 4 Business Hours
User can manage status and priority of support tickets
Phone support
Phone support availability
24 hours, 7 days a week
Web chat support
Onsite support
Yes, at extra cost
Support levels
MDS Support is based on the priority assigned to the incident:
P1 - Critical - 30 Minute response, Mon-Friday 0800-1800 Exc Bank & Public Holidays, 1 Hour Response outside of business hours
P2- Urgent- 1 Hour Response 24/7
P3- Low Business Impact or Interruption - Within 3 Business Hours
P4- Non Urgent Request - Within 4 Business Hours
Support available to third parties

Onboarding and offboarding

Getting started
As part of on-boarding we will:
• Implement the log collection software, and work with your organisation to set up and configure the service. This includes the installation of ALM-SIEM software agents on devices within your IT infrastructure from which logs will have to be collected in order to meet the GPG13 recommendations;
• Work with your organisation to determine your specific logging and compliance requirements. If required, Assuria can be engaged to help define audit, configuration and logging requirements;
• Test the service to ensure log collection is correctly configured and that reports and alerts are working as expected.

We offer two methods of on-boarding, based on your needs:
• A standard, templated implementation, based on fixed application of GPG-13 monitoring, suitable for an existing, assured hosting platform (such as that provided by MDS)
• A bespoke implementation of GPG-13 monitoring, tailored to your specific risk profile
Service documentation
Documentation formats
End-of-contract data extraction
At the end of the contract we will agree with each customer the most appropriate way of securely transferring their Protective Monitoring logs out of this service. This may be by transferring the logs to another server within the cloud hosted service for the customers to access. We can also extract the data to removable media and deliver to the customer using our SC cleared staff or a suitably security cleared courier.
End-of-contract process
As part of off-boarding we will:
• Decommission the ALM-SIEM software and recover any licensed software
• Provide you with access to the logs held within the service at the point of decommissioning, if required.

Delivery of customer data to the customer site by our staff or a courier will incur an additional charge.

Using the service

Web browser interface
Command line interface


Scaling available
Scaling type
Independence of resources
Protective Monitoring is typically required as a core element of a customer's secure hosting service. The security requirements mandated by accreditors and SIROs normally require a dedicated SIEM server to ensure that the log data is protected from any third party intervention. MDS normally configures this service using UKCloud's cloud infrastructure, however another IaaS service can be used if preferred. Service separation is therefore managed at the IaaS level.
Usage notifications
Usage reporting


Infrastructure or application metrics
Metrics types
  • CPU
  • Disk
  • Memory
Reporting types
Regular reports


Supplier type
Reseller providing extra features and support
Organisation whose services are being resold

Staff security

Staff security clearance
Conforms to BS7858:2012
Government security clearance
Up to Security Clearance (SC)

Asset protection

Knowledge of data storage and processing locations
Data storage and processing locations
United Kingdom
User control over data storage and processing locations
Datacentre security standards
Complies with a recognised standard (for example CSA CCM version 3.0)
Penetration testing frequency
At least once a year
Penetration testing approach
‘IT Health Check’ performed by a CHECK service provider
Protecting data at rest
Physical access control, complying with another standard
Data sanitisation process
Data sanitisation type
  • Explicit overwriting of storage before reallocation
  • Deleted data can’t be directly accessed
  • Hardware containing data is completely destroyed
Equipment disposal approach
A third-party destruction service

Backup and recovery

Backup and recovery

Data-in-transit protection

Data protection between buyer and supplier networks
  • Private network or public sector network
  • TLS (version 1.2 or above)
  • IPsec or TLS VPN gateway
  • Bonded fibre optic connections
  • Legacy SSL and TLS (under version 1.2)
Data protection within supplier network
IPsec or TLS VPN gateway

Availability and resilience

Guaranteed availability
Approach to resilience
MDS typically uses UKCloud's IaaS to provide a resilient service up to 99.90%. Full details of the IaaS service are available in our dedicated service offering.

We can implement this service using other IaaS providers such as Azure or AWS if required.
Outage reporting
We will report outages by email to the named service contact, and through our end of month report.

Identity and authentication

User authentication
  • 2-factor authentication
  • Limited access network (for example PSN)
  • Dedicated link (for example VPN)
  • Username or password
Access restrictions in management interfaces and support channels
MDS can restrict access to the customer data in the following ways:
- Role based access control on the ALM server
- Network based firewall restrictions between servers
- Application restrictions
Access restriction testing frequency
At least once a year
Management access authentication
  • 2-factor authentication
  • Limited access network (for example PSN)
  • Username or password
Devices users manage the service through
  • Dedicated device on a segregated network (providers own provision)
  • Dedicated device on a government network (for example PSN)
  • Any device but through a bastion host (a bastion host is a server that provides access to a private network from an external network such as the internet)

Audit information for users

Access to user activity audit information
Users have access to real-time audit information
How long user audit data is stored for
Access to supplier activity audit information
Users have access to real-time audit information
How long supplier audit data is stored for
How long system logs are stored for

Standards and certifications

ISO/IEC 27001 certification
Who accredited the ISO/IEC 27001
ISO/IEC 27001 accreditation date
What the ISO/IEC 27001 doesn’t cover
MDS' risk assessment process has highlighted that the following two areas of ISO27001 are out of scope:
14.1.3 Information Systems: Protecting Application Services Transactions
14.2.7 Information Systems: Outsourced Development
ISO 28000:2007 certification
CSA STAR certification
PCI certification
Other security certifications
Any other security certifications
  • Cyber Essentials Plus
  • PSN Connection Certificate
  • ISO9001:2015
  • ISO14001:2015
  • OHSAS 18001:2007

Security governance

Named board-level person responsible for service security
Security governance certified
Security governance standards
ISO/IEC 27001
Information security policies and processes
We follow the policies and procedures laid down in ISO 27001:2013 standard. In particular, our Information Security Management System contains all of the policies that support our security management approach. Our Information Security Policy provides the highest level policy statements which is supported by a comprehensive Acceptable Use Policy which all staff must sign before being granted any system/Network access. Additional policies cover key areas including Security Incident Management, Management Review, Document Control, Data Protection, Access Control, Business Continuity, Encryption, Patch Management and Auditing.

As part of our Service Implementation Process we carry out a pre-handover security audit to ensure that we have met the required MDS Security standards as well as any specific customer security requirements which have been agreed.

All of the above is supported by an extensive internal and external (UKAS accredited) Audit programme which ensures that we maintain the high level of security standards laid down in our processes.

Operational security

Configuration and change management standard
Conforms to a recognised standard, for example CSA CCM v3.0 or SSAE-16 / ISAE 3402
Configuration and change management approach
Configuration and Change management processes are fully aligned to ITIL best practise and documented within our Information Security Management System.

New customer environments are deployed using our scripted deployment tools to ensure a consistent and reliable build. Configuration changes to these environments are closely managed throughout the project to ensure that configuration records are maintained.

All changes to customer environments require both MDS and customer approval. This ensures that customers are fully aware and agree to any work being implemented within their environment.

The MDS Change Advisory Board meets weekly although Emergency Changes can be processed at short notice.
Vulnerability management type
Conforms to a recognised standard, for example CSA CCM v3.0 or SSAE-16 / ISAE 3402
Vulnerability management approach
Our vulnerability management processes are compliant with ISO27001:2013 and supported by a comprehensive Patch Management policy. We undergo regular vulnerability assessments and also continually monitor a number of recognised sources of new vulnerability and threat information as well as any known exploits for them.

Our Patch Management process includes the regular and timely application of patches to software whilst minimising the potential impact of problem updates through testing and evaluation.
Protective monitoring type
Conforms to a recognised standard, for example CSA CCM v3.0 or SSAE-16 / ISAE 3402
Protective monitoring approach
MDS can implement a GPG-13 compliant Protective Monitoring solution through our relationship with Assuria. The Assuria Log Manager (ALM) application is a CESG CCTM accredited Forensic SIEM/Log Management Solution. ALM is cloud ready, Scalable, Flexible and provides analysis and real time alerting as well as full compliance reporting.

The ALM architecture allows the collection and management of almost any format and supports a wide range of log standards. Although ALM can work agentless, the installation of an ALM Agent (available for a wide range of platforms) enhances the service with automated log collection, rotation, digital signing and forwarding.
Incident management type
Conforms to a recognised standard, for example, CSA CCM v3.0 or ISO/IEC 27035:2011 or SSAE-16 / ISAE 3402
Incident management approach
MDS’ Information Security Incident Management Policy fully complies with ISO27001:2013 and includes:
• Potential or actual breaches of confidentiality of a company or supported customer information asset, or potential or actual breaches of confidentiality of a supporting asset
• Potential or actual breaches of integrity of a company or supported customer information asset, or potential or actual breaches of integrity of a supporting asset
• Potential or actual interruptions to the availability of a company or supported customer information asset

The Policy applies to all employees, contractors and third party users of MDS information systems, and other related infrastructure.

Secure development

Approach to secure software development best practice
Supplier-defined process

Separation between users

Virtualisation technology used to keep applications and users sharing the same infrastructure apart
Who implements virtualisation
Virtualisation technologies used
How shared infrastructure is kept separate
MDS uses UKCloud's IaaS, which is based on a VMware platform, to manage user separation

Energy efficiency

Energy-efficient datacentres
Description of energy efficient datacentres
Our cloud services are CarbonNeutral® cloud services. We achieved this certification by working with Natural Capital Partners to measure and reduce our CO2 emissions across all sources used to deliver our cloud services to our customers. These include direct emissions from all owned or leased stationary sources that use fossil fuels and/or emit fugitive emissions, and emissions from the generation of purchased electricity and steam (including transmission and distribution losses) to power our servers. For our cloud services to achieve CarbonNeutral® status, an independent assessment of the CO2 emissions produced from direct and indirect sources required to deliver them was carried out, followed by an offset-inclusive emissions reduction programme. This means that for every tonne of greenhouse gas emissions we produce in delivering cloud services, we buy a verified carbon offset which guarantees that an equivalent amount of greenhouse gas emissions is reduced from the atmosphere through a renewable energy or clean technology project.


£15 a server a month
Discount for educational organisations
Free trial available

Service documents