Crime Reduction

13.04.18

Basic approach to cyber security ‘no longer enough’ to tackle growing threat

UK business are suffering more online attacks than ever before as criminals adapt to digital advances and launch emerging threats such as cloud storage theft and cryptojacking, it has been revealed.

In a stark report released to mark this year’s three-day CYBERUK 2018 summit in Manchester Central, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) showed that the risk to the country’s businesses only continues to grow.

Because of evolving threats, a basic cyber security posture is “no longer enough,” the government organisation argued. But most attacks will be stopped by the organisations that prioritise cyber security and work closely with Whitehall and law enforcement to drive these standards.

Ciaran Martin, chief executive of the NCSC, who wrote for PSE late last year, said the key to better cyber security is understanding the problem and taking practical steps to reduce risk.

“This report sets out to explain what terms like cryptojacking and ransomware really mean for businesses and citizens, and using case studies, shows what can happen when the right protections aren’t in place,” he added.

As well as cryptojacking – in which computers are hijacked to create cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin – and cloud theft, other threats include ransomware, data breaches and supply chain weaknesses, which can bring about significant financial and reputational harm.

The report illustrates this by showing real-life case studies of businesses damaged by cybercrime, such as companies ranging from multi-national firms to independent restaurants being targeted by ransomware attacks.

While the government has done much to combat this issue, the underreporting of cybercrime by businesses and the public sector “means crucial evidence and intelligence about cyber threats and offenders is lost.”

Donald Toon, director of the NCA’s Prosperity Command, said: “Organisations which don’t take cyber security extremely seriously in the next year are risking serious financial and reputational consequences.

“By increasing collaboration between law enforcement, government and industry we will make sure the UK is a safe place to do business and hostile zone for cyber criminals.”

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