Web security firms have welcomed government commitments to protect essential infrastructure such as electricity, transport and utility services from the increasing threat of cyber attacks and hackers.
Speaking at a summit to discuss the cyber threat with regulators and industry, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable said cyber threats against critical infrastructure need to be taken seriously.
“Cyber attacks are a serious and growing threat to British businesses, but it is particularly important that those industries providing essential services such as power, telecommunications and banking are adequately protected to avoid disruption to our everyday lives,” he said.
“We can only achieve this objective through a partnership between government, the regulators and industry,” Cable continued.
“Today’s event marks the next step in highlighting the important role of the regulators in overseeing the adoption of robust cyber security measures by the companies that supply these crucial services.”
The minister’s comments have been welcomed as ‘encouraging’ by a number of security firms
“The modern battleground is no longer air, land or sea – it is cyber warfare.
The increasingly wired nature of the world means that cyberspace has already become the world’s largest battlefield, and countries are just starting to live this reality,” said Jarno Limnell, director of cyber security at Stonesoft.
“It is of upmost importance that cyber security is not only front-of-mind, but that each industry is prepared for these ever-increasingly complex attacks through comprehensive training,” he continued, hailing the announcement as a significant milestone.
“Government agencies can help here and should be involved in these preparations as private and public sectors must combine their expertise to thwart ever-more sophisticated hackers. Today’s summit is an important milestone in ensuring that collaboration occurs.”
However, Carl Leonard, senior security research manager EMEA at IT security firm Websense, warned that while it’s ‘positive’ to see the government taking action, more needs to be done.
“The primary intention behind cyber-crime is to steal confidential data and while the GCHQ’s 10 steps to improve cyber security plan will certainly help raise awareness of cyber-security and the risk to business, it is now more crucial than ever that UK businesses pre-emptively place data security higher up the agenda and spend IT security budgets on the right technology,” he said.
“Proactive defences against advanced persistent threats, targeted attacks and evolving malware are key to an effective cyber defence. Businesses need the ability to protect against cyber-crime as it strikes, in real-time, while simultaneously protecting against data breaches and theft,” Leonard added.