UK is increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks says Commons report
The report says that the UK government has not made sufficient progress on developing long-term objectives for the National Security Strategy, which has been hampered by a weak evidence base and lack of business case.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said the National Cyber Security Centre has dealt with more than 1,100 incidents since it was established in October 2016, with threats constantly evolving and becoming increasingly technical in their approach, as the boundaries between criminal gangs and ‘hostile’ nations continue to blur.
Chairwoman of the PAC, Meg Hillier, said: “With its world-leading digital economy, the UK is more vulnerable than ever before to cyber attacks and as the likelihood of these attacks continues to grow, the UK needs to protect itself against the risks created by more and more services going online.”
Strategy against cyber attacks
The Government has published two, five-year national cyber security strategies, in order to counter the threat of the increasing cyber attacks.
The PAC’s report states that after making “a poor start” the Cabinet Office is beginning to make progress in achieving the current strategy. However, it added: “However, a weak evidence base and the lack of a business case for the National Cyber Security Programme that helps to deliver the strategy make it difficult for the department to assess whether it will meet all its objectives by 2021.
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The PAC said it was concerned that average consumers have no understanding of how safe the websites or internet-enabled products they use, are.
PAC’s Meg Hillier, said: “In the interest of national security, the Cabinet Office need to take a long-term approach to protecting against the risk of cyber attacks: future plans should be based on strong evidence, business cases should be rigorously costed to ensure value for money, and strategic outcomes and objectives should be clearly defined.”
A Cabinet Office spokesman responded: “The UK is safer since the launch of our cyber strategy in 2015. We have set up the world leading National Cyber Security Centre, taken down 140,000 scam websites in the last year and, across government, have helped over a million organisations become more secure.”