Andy Settle, Chief Cyber Security Consultant & Head of Practice at Thales UK, discusses the proposed cyber conflict simulations between the UK and the US and the risks that “cyber war” poses.
“Whilst some might consider new the government‘s intent to engage in active steps with its allies to ensure the health of Britain’s IT infrastructure, this type of collaborative cyber conflict simulation has been a regular occurrence between the UK and the US for nearly 10 years. U.S. exercises, such as Cyber Flag and Cyber Guard which take place every year, have been a crucial factor in developing qualified responses to cyber attacks.
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“The threat of cyber warfare and cyber terrorism has become much more apparent to the general public over the past couple of years, with the attacks on Sony’s computer amassing a staggering amount of attention. However, many still struggle to imagine how cyber conflict could wreak the same havoc as traditional, conventional war.
“But as former Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell noted, cyber-war has the potential to mirror the doomsday nuclear threat – less in the physical sense but in terms of the potential economic and psychological effects. The threats and potential consequences go beyond one sector’s scope to deal with it effectively. This is why the process for dealing with these threats must take a collaboration approach between the government, civilian world, and military.
“A successful attack on a country’s financial sector, for example, could lead to disastrous consequences throughout the world, with staggering effects on markets. To this end, it is promising to see that the first drill is targeting the City of London and Wall Street, taking clear precautions to ensure the security of these countries’ economic infrastructure.”
By Andy Settle, Chief Cyber Security Consultant & Head of Practice, Thales UK
Thales is a global technology leader in the Aerospace, Transportation and Defence & Security markets. In 2013, the company generated revenues of €14.2 billion with 65,000 employees in 56 countries. With its 25,000 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design, develop and deploy equipment, systems and services that meet the most complex security requirements. Thales has an exceptional international footprint, with operations around the world working with customers and local partners.
Thales UK employs 7,500 staff based at 35 locations. In 2013 Thales UK’s revenues were around £1.3 billion.
Thales develops military command information and intelligence systems, homeland security systems (ID management and border surveillance systems, etc.) and urban security and critical infrastructure security systems (for airports, sensitive sites and energy installations). These solutions support quick decision-making, providing users with clear, relevant and immediate information about their environment.