Cyber attack could bring nation to its knees, BT chairman tells cyber security summit

It is no exaggeration to say cyber attacks could bring a state to its knees without any military action, say Michael Rake, chairman of BT.

It is no exaggeration to say cyber attacks could bring a state to its knees without any military action, says Michael Rake, chairman of BT.

"The potential to have a serious effect is there, which means we are getting into a cyber race from an offensive and defensive point of view," Michael Rake told the opening session of the EastWest Institute's second Worldwide Cybersecurity Summit in London.

For governments and private business, it is critical that they have a higher level of awareness of cyber security and cyber attack, Rake told the Worldwide Cybersecurity Summit.

According to Rake, there is a lot of work to be done around raising awareness around the importance of resilience in global supply chains.

"We need to move towards minimum standards to protect against cyber attacks, but that will require huge investments and much greater public-private collaboration," Rake said.

Rake told representatives of governments and private organisations from around the world it is critical to move towards cyber non-proliferation treaties.

"It is something we need to think about and move towards, but it will be difficult because the threat is invisible and difficult to understand," Rake said.

Armed forces minister Nick Harvey recently told the Worldwide Cybersecurity Summit cyberweapons were part of the UK's national armoury.

The EastWest Institute (EWI) summit is aimed at mobilising commitments by leading business organisations and governments to address cross-border cyber security challenges. The EWI Worldwide Cybersecurity Summit aims to develop models for private sector leadership in addressing cyber security threats associated with global internet activity, and make advances on the most pressing issues in global management of critical information infrastructure.

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