George Osbourne “every British company is a target” – cyber-attacks being plotted by Islamic state.
George Osbourne visited GCHQ in Cheltenham and raised his concerns over the increasing threat of Islamic State militants trying to develop the ability to launch deadly cyber-attacks on UK targets such as air traffic control or hospitals, Chancellor George Osborne warned that:
“The stakes could hardly be higher. If our electricity supply, or our air traffic control, or our hospitals were successfully attacked online, the impact could be measured not just in terms of economic damage but of lives lost.”
He added: “They do not yet have that capability. But we know they want it, and are doing their best to build it.
Mr Osborne said the public needed to follow “basic rules of keeping themselves safe” which included building cyber resilience by installing anti-malware and virus software, regularly downloading software updates and using strong passwords.
“The starting point must be that every British company is a target, that every British network will be attacked, and that cyber crime is not something that happens to other people.”
Implementing the Government backed scheme Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus insures that every British company implements these basic rules to keep their organisations safe, while showing other businesses that they are taking the cyber security threat seriously.
Government plan to make the South West a world leader in cyber security
Mr Osborne spoke about the creation of a new National Cyber Centre to bring together the country’s leading experts which included a cyber innovation centre next to the GCHQ listening post aimed at supporting cyber security startups.He added:
“I have talked before about an arc of cyber excellence – stretching from this building [GCHQ], through Bristol and Bath to Exeter – to make the South West a world leader in cyber security.”
The South West Cyber Security Cluster is working with the police and Academia to make the South West a vibrant and safe place to do business and will help further George Osbourne’s vision to make the South West a world leader in cyber security.
Read more about the vision to protect Britain against cyber threat in GCHQ speech