We must do our bit for cyber security

George Osborne announced an extra £1.9bn a year for cyber security yesterday but all businesses have to play their part too.

A cyber attack on the UK could cripple all forms of communication and infrastructure and it is, quite frankly, a scary proposition.

As Catalin Cosoi, chief security strategist at Bitdefender, said: “A cyber attack… could have devastating consequences for British businesses and infrastructure.

“As organisations continue to deploy innovate technologies to increase productivity, the number of attack surfaces is increasing and leaving business exposed.

“A possible worst-case scenario is the crippling of all communication and critical infrastructures. This could be co-ordinated alongside a physical tactical assault, as disrupting any form of communication or internet-connected technology could be used as a serious tactical advantage on the ground.”

Can you imagine? The Chancellor’s move to prioritise cyber security has been widely welcomed, but we must all play a part in fighting the threat.

“The threat from cyber attacks is constantly developing, said PwC cyber security partner Richard Horne. “New perpetrators can acquire capability or access to target organisations rapidly through the criminal market.

“The increased investment by the Government is welcome, but even more important is continuing to increase the focus and investment across the UK economy and society as a whole.

“In today’s digital world, we are incredibly interconnected and interdependent; one organisation’s weakness could be exploited to cause an impact elsewhere. Protecting ourselves from the impact of cyber attacks is a common endeavour for all organisations and for individuals too.”

Ken Hall, partner at KPMG’s Cyber Security Practice, agrees: “The Chancellor’s announcement shows that cyber security has become a key part of the UK’s growth strategy.  However UK businesses and Government need to work in partnership in order to ensure that a higher level of cyber maturity is reached.

“The National Cyber Centre will play a vital part in protecting UK business. However the Government can’t take full responsibility in protecting businesses.

“Industry needs to play its part by helping Government understand the realities of trying to secure complex legacy systems, while simultaneously chasing business opportunities in a rapidly evolving digital world.

“Whilst the funding is great news, upskilling members of the public and businesses will yield just as valuable results.  Cyber security has become and must remain one of the Government’s main priorities.”