Improving the UK’s cybersecurity defences

Posted on: November 3rd, 2016

Following news that the government is committing £1.9 billion of spending to improving the country’s cybersecurity defences, Mark O’Halloran provides his thoughts on the impact for businesses.

Mark O’Halloran, Head of Commercial Services at Coffin Mew, told IT Pro that the new strategy is “great news” for business as it shows the government’s commitment to invest significantly in taking on large-scale and state-sponsored cybercrime.

“But business should not be complacent and think this means the cyber environment will become easier to navigate,” he said.

“The onus will still very much be on companies to shore up their own cybersecurity. We’ve seen from the ICO’s record-breaking £400,000 fine of TalkTalk that the government expects companies to invest heavily themselves and adopt state-of-the-art protection.”

He added that when GDPR comes into play in May 2018, the ICO will be able to impose even heftier fines – up to 4% of a company’s global turnover for data breaches – even those resulting from targeted hacking by sophisticated criminals.

“Companies should always remain vigilant and remember that the most successful hacks result, not from clever software, but from human vulnerabilities. One of the most common types of incursions, spear phishing, simply needs an unsuspecting employee to respond to an apparently genuine email asking them to verify their login details.”

Mark said that training employees in cyber awareness will remain as essential as deploying the latest anti-virus and attack detection software.

“Therefore, the government may help prevent massive Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, but that won’t stop a friendly phone call to your finance team from someone claiming to work in your IT department needing to run a software update.”

Read the full article published by IT Pro.