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UK is ‘wholly’ unprepared to prevent ‘devastating’ cyber attack, MPs warn

A PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE has warned that the UK is “wholly” unprepared to prevent a “potentially devastating” cyber attack.

It’s the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy (JCNSS) sounding the alarm bells. It warns that, at a time when states such as Russia are-growing ever-capable to carry out major cyber-attacks, the UK’s level of ministerial oversight is “wholly inadequate.”

“Hostile states are becoming more aggressive in their behaviour, with some states – especially Russia – starting to explore ways of disrupting CNI,” the report cautions

It says that Blighty needs to urgently shore up its cyber defences, slamming current ministers for failing to act with a “meaningful sense of purpose or urgency”.

It’s also calling on Theresa May to appoint a cybersecurity minister, and prioritise multilateral cybersecurity cooperation, such as information sharing with the EU during the ongoing Brexit negotiations.

This minister would “in a war situation, [have] the exclusive task of assembling the resources – in both the public and private sectors – and executing the measures needed to defend against the threat”.

At present, if the UK’s critical national infrastructure was attacked, it would represent a “top-tier” threat to national security with potentially “devastating” consequences, the report claims. 

“While we applaud the aspiration, it appears the government is not delivering on it with a meaningful sense of purpose or urgency,” it says.

“Identifiable political leadership is lacking. There is little evidence to suggest a ‘controlling mind’ at the centre of government, driving change consistently across the many departments and CNI sectors involved.

“We are concerned that the current complex arrangements for ministerial responsibility mean that day-to-day oversight of cross-government efforts is, in reality, led by officials, with ministers only occasionally ‘checking in’.

“This is wholly inadequate to the scale of the task facing the government, and inappropriate in view of the government’s own assessment that major cyber-attacks are a top-tier national security threat.” µ

Further reading

Source : Inquirer

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