Despite the increased profile of cyber security threats, counter-terrorism remains the primary focus of the UK’s intelligence and security agencies.
Malcolm Rifkind, MP, chairman of the cross-party intelligence and security committee (ISC), said in the annual ISC report published today that the threat the UK is facing from cyber attacks is at its “highest level ever” and is “disturbing” in its scale and complexity.
But the intelligence services’ priority remains in countering terrorism, he said: “Their work analysing intelligence to understand the threat and seeking to help prevent attacks remains crucial to our national security.”
According to the report, state actors continue to pose the greatest cyber threat, but a number of countries are also using private groups to carry out state-sponsored attacks.
“These state-affiliated groups consist of skilled cyber professionals, undertaking attacks on diverse targets such as financial institutions and energy companies,” the report said.