Cyber attacks and terrorism top security strategy priority list


Cyber attacks and terrorism top security strategy priority list

Warwick Ashford

Cyber attacks and terrorism have been confirmed as the top threats facing the UK in the National Security Strategy published today.

In a joint foreword to the strategy, prime minister David Cameron and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said there needed to be a "radical transformation" in the way that Britain thought about and organised its national security.

"As a government, we have inherited a defence and security structure that is woefully unsuitable for the world we live in today. We are determined to learn from those mistakes and make the changes needed," they said.

UK citizens should feel reassured that the government is clearly taking the cyber threat seriously, said Ollie Hart, head of public sector at security firm Sophos.

Sophos wholeheartedly supports the government's decision to invest in an enhanced national cyber security strategy, he said.

But with cyber war flagged as one of the biggest threats to UK security and slated to receive increased spending, business risks becoming collateral damage, said consultancy firm KPMG.

There is a good chance that criminals will learn or acquire some of the techniques used by governments and use them against commercial enterprises, said Malcolm Marshall, head of the information security practice at KPMG in the UK.

"As corporates often hold high-value digital assets and often have weaker defences compared to governments, they can become prime targets," he said.

Businesses should ensure they are linked in to their national governments where programmes exist to help the corporate world deal with the threat, said Marshall.

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