The Commons Public Accounts Committee has released a report that heavily criticises the government’s approach to cyber security. It labeled the current cyber-security strategy as “inconsistent and chaotic” and said that the government has taken too long to “coordinate the ‘alphabet soup’ of agencies” protecting Britain in cyberspace. IT security experts from Barracuda Networks and WhiteHat Security commented below.
Wieland Alge, VP and GM EMEA at Barracuda Networks:
“Finally, governments are starting to realise that cyber threats are as imposing as those from land, sea and air. The UK has put efforts into its cyber policy and spending, but not necessarily into all the right places. One improvement that could be made is implementing an “emergency response” mechanism for cyber attacks – the kind that are already in place for earthquakes or similar catastrophes – rather than allocating cyber-spending on predictions and planning. After all, the cyber landscape is ever changing and, thus, unpredictable.
“MPs are calling for change and it is likely to come in the near future. It is no secret that many European cyber defence departments have already been involved in serious conflicts, and almost all countries now fight their battles in the digital rather than real world. So, in the coming years, the approach to cyber defence taken by governments will have to revolutionise. The military will become a cyber-first defence force that is merely assisted by actual armed forces. Ultimately, cyber attacks are one of the four top risks to national security and needed to be treated as such.”
Ryan O’Leary, VP Threat Research Center at WhiteHat Security:
“The world is simply not prepared for cyberwarfare. With so much of our life and critical infrastructure online, it’s difficult to imagine the sheer magnitude of potential ways we could be attacked. This also makes prevention of cyber warfare extremely difficult. We rely on both governments and independent companies to secure us against such attacks. Unfortunately, companies have to balance securing these assets with focusing on their own bottom lines. Individuals must therefore voice their concerns and make companies and governments more accountable for online safety.”