UK business leaders warned about cybersecurity

British business leaders need to extend their cyber security defences beyond the threat posed by Russia to other states and criminal syndicates, one of the UK’s leading spymasters has warned.

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In an interview with the Financial Times, Ciaran Martin, chief executive of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, which is part of the communications intelligence agency GCHQ, said that while Russia remained a serious threat to businesses, Iran and North Korea, as well as international cyber criminals, presented equal if not greater risks.

Commenting on this, Andy Norton, director of threat intelligence at Lastline said: 

“Unfortunately the advice given is not actionable. How can businesses protect themselves from Russian national interests, when in actual fact they don’t know how to protect themselves from Russian inspired cyber attacks in the first place?

The UK needs a “cyber home front” initiative. It is in an Asynchronous Warfare situation, and the attackers constantly obscure their real intentions with a mosaic of apparently unstructured intrusions against any and all economic and political targets. This serves to dull our awareness to the overarching strategic goal of reducing western economic power, constricting political alliances and isolating individual nations. 

The question that needs to be asked is “in a state of cyber warfare, what should we do differently?” and the answer to that question needs to be delivered to business leaders. Then, we might stop the death of a thousand cuts.”