Tobias Ellwood, Chairman of the Defense Select Committee
“Cyber security must be consciously and consistently integrated into military and civilian planning and activities, whether we are facing open hostilities or not. Military networks are vitally important to protect, however, this protection must extend beyond the armed forces.” Our heavy reliance on technology creates a vulnerability that can be easily exploited by hostile states, and the only way to address this is to entrench cybersecurity in public life.
“Recently, we have seen Ukrainian government websites attacked by malware to undermine and sabotage the Ukrainian state. Cyber attacks on public institutions are now an integral part of modern warfare. The public sector must work closely with agencies such as the National Cyber Security Center to ensure that communication channels and the sensitive information they contain are waterproofed.”
Chitra Balakrishna, Cyber Security Program Leader at the Open University
“In current times, businesses and individuals are always under the threat or risk of cyber security attack or breach. Malicious hackers exploit certain geopolitical events like wars, elections, natural catastrophes and accelerate their attacks. By For example, during Covid, the number of phishing attacks increased by 400%.
“The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine and the resulting response from Western democracies has already resulted in increased threat and risk to businesses and people within Western nations. Recent reports published by intelligence agencies in the UK and US have identified new malware attributed to a Russian hacking group.
“Businesses, particularly those offering critical services like healthcare and financial services, need to take proactive steps. They need to ensure that their fundamental cybersecurity practices and procedures are in place and working and provide a temporary boost to their defenses.
“This should include running a strong awareness campaign among your workforce, so they don’t fall victim to a malicious phishing attack that could lead to a broader data breach. In the current geopolitical climate, the threat of cyber warfare could be as dangerous as a territorial military invasion and potentially wreak similar havoc and disruption on nations and their peoples.”
Dan Patefield, head of cybersecurity and homeland security at techUK
“The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation across all industries and organizations. In parallel, the cyber threat landscape continues to evolve with key challenges including those related to supply chain security and ransomware attacks. To address this growing threat , all public sector organizations should regularly assess and update their cybersecurity capabilities recognizing that cyber is an enabler of everything modern organizations do.
“We have recently seen the Cabinet Office publish the Government Cyber Security Strategy which clearly outlines an ambitious blueprint for how the public sector will seek to instill greater resilience across the public sector. This includes learning lessons from CNI sectors, expanding cross-departmental coordination, and recognizing that cybersecurity is a shared responsibility, from the director level to frontline services.
“The UK is well positioned to achieve these ambitions with a world-leading capability and an innovative and growing cybersecurity sector. Guidance from the National Cyber Security Center is always a helpful starting point for any organization.”
John Edwards, Information Commissioner
“My office has seen a 19% increase in reports of cyber security incidents involving people’s personal data in the last two years. Our experience is that many issues are preventable and doing the basics right is the first step.
“It’s not a matter of doing it once and forgetting. It’s about creating a culture of surveillance. Our statistics show that a growing number of cyberattacks stem from phishing, with emails seeking to trick or persuade staff to share usernames and passwords. Measures like multi-factor authentication help here, but up-to-date staff training is essential to detecting and reporting phishing attempts.
“Cybersecurity can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. There is a wealth of advice available, including our practical guide to keeping your IT systems safe and secure, as well as information from the National Cyber Security Center and the Cyber Essentials campaign.”