Official portrait of Steven Barclay. Photo credit: Parliament Official Portraits,

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster speech at CYBERUK

In a speech at the CYBERUK conference in Newport today, Steve Barclay, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, underlined the importance of cyber security in all sectors, but gave crucial examples of public sector organisations that prove how important the Government Cyber Security Strategy is.

In today’s speech, Barclay mentioned how “in one attack in the UK, the National Crime Agency alerted a public sector organisation to an ongoing breach of its systems. Within hours, the NCA had identified the compromised services and located the exfiltrated data, which it later managed to take down; so that no personal information got out.”

The requirement for increased security in the public sector, in a world where cyber threats are ever developing as security measures improve is backed up by the National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) new online tool that enables key organisations in the public sector to check for any potential vulnerabilities in their cyber defences.

Barclay, who also serves as Downing Street Chief of Staff, also said:

“Some authorities estimate that in 2020, ransomware attacks may have cost the UK economy a minimum of £615 million.

Over the past year, the National Crime Agency has received on average one report from victims of a Russia-based group responsible for ransomware attacks in the week. One report a week. Indeed, some authorities have estimated that over the last year global ransomware payments are up 144%, and the average demand is $2.2 million.

Being a responsible, durable, effective cyber power cannot be achieved by government alone. So, we want to work with industry, universities, schools, and individual citizens getting involved.”

NCSC have also announced a new email security tool for organisations across the country to use. Paul Maddison, NCSC Director for National Resilience, said:

“Email plays a central role in how organisations communicate every day so it’s vital that technical teams have measures in place to protect email systems from abuse.

Our new Email Security Check tool helps users identify where than do more to prevent spoofing and protect privacy and offers practical advice on how to stay secure.

By following the recommended actions, organisations can help bolster their defences, demonstrate they have taken cyber security seriously and make life harder for cyber criminals.”

This new tool is currently only available for charities, education organizations and, importantly, public sector organizations to try out as a pilot. This will allow local authorities to further develop their cyber security, something that Sir Jeremy Fleming, GCHQ Director, spoke about in a speech yesterday about the importance of the public sector in keeping citizens safe in cyberspace, with emphasis on maintaining resilience and continuing to deliver the services that they are there to deliver.


Photo credit: Parliament Official Portraits,


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