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Is the UK Taking Our Cyber Security Serious Enough?

22 Nov 10:00 by Joshua Hill

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It had been reported this week, that the UK doesn’t seem to be taking the threat cybersecurity poses as seriously as it should (this despite the numerous attacks we have seen over previous months!). In an attack from countries such as Russia, who have openly acknowledged their ability to carry out potentially devastating attacks, UK security would not stand a chance. A Parliamentary committee went so far as to deem the UK’s security strategy as redundant (Guardian)! According to media sources, the critical national infrastructure would be most at risk, which would leave the UK unable to function if that framework was a target.

Given that only a year ago, the NHS suffered a serious hack by ‘Wannacry’, in which the breach was so severe that medical trusts and hospitals targeted had to advise patients only to seek medical care if it was an emergency. Furthermore, the NHS suffered a huge loss of £92million following the attack, through a combination of missed appointments and IT upgrades (Telegraph). So, the news that the UK is still vulnerable to further incidents is anything but reassuring.

The Government founded National Security Centre (NCSC) have also confirmed that many attacks that they are stopping, are come from 'state-sponsored hackers' employed by hostile states. On top of this, they have also singled out Russia as a country who are actively looking to deploy attacks on the UK's media, telecom and energy sectors (BBC). Therefore, given our awareness of the vulnerability of the UK and the evident target we have on us, why is our security not in place to protect us?

Despite the lack of confidence in the Government approach to cyber-security, there is the positive side of the issue, which is the number of jobs being created in this sector due to the high demand for skilled professionals in this field. The rate of growth for jobs in the sector is 'projected at 37% from 2012-2022' (Monster) which is a higher average than all other occupations. Many businesses are also happy to employ professionals without specific qualifications, preferring to focus on individuals with knowledge systems important to security and a greater attention to detail (Target Jobs). It is also expected that training opportunities within cybersecurity will become more available.

Cybersecurity is a very real challenge, for both businesses and individuals. Although it seems that the government could be doing more to protect the general public, it is important that everyone takes some personal responsibility.