Cyber Security – why we really are all in it together

There is a widely-held view that only government and commercial enterprises need to worry about cyber security. In reality, cyber security concerns everyone due to our growing dependence on Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructures. For many people in the developed world high-speed access to the internet is becoming as indispensible as the other utilities on which they rely.
 
Yet we are all at risk of cyber attack. Vulnerabilities provide unscrupulous actors with many opportunities for exploitation, including online financial fraud, hacking, identity theft, or the takeover of our PC for use as part of a ‘botnet’. These actors can take many guises, from the individual hacker who regards a cyber attack as a ‘fun’ technical challenge, through to organised criminals, terrorists and other extremists, or even professional computer experts funded by foreign governments.
 
The On Cyber Warfare report by Chatham House details cyber warfare as “the ‘fifth battlespace’ alongside the more traditional arenas of land, air, sea and space”. The Guardian advises “that Britain could lead a sober international debate about the threat of cyber warfare” following the release of the report by the British Foreign Affairs and security think tank.
 
The increasing use of cyber space throughout the world means the risks to international and national security are increasing. In his speech on the 12th October 2010, Director GCHQ, Iain Lobban, advised: "just because I, as a national security official, am giving a speech about cyber, I don’t want you to take away the impression that it is solely a national security or defence issue. It goes to the heart of our economic well-being and national interest."
 
As reported by the BBC on the 9th November 2010, “the armed forces minister warned that, in the wrong hands, a laptop could be as effective a weapon as a cruise missile”. A twice-yearly global study has highlighted that 85% of the UK population are concerned about bank card fraud and identity theft.
 
Recent reports within the media have highlighted that future threats are as likely to arise from cyber space as on the battlefield. Growing dependence on cyber space means, according to the Cabinet Office’s Cyber Security Strategy of the United Kingdom, “the security of cyber space becomes ever more critical to the health of the nation.” Cyber space reaches across international boundaries and provides anonymity, allowing attacks to be mounted with little risk to the perpetrator. The technologies involved are also developing at an ever increasing rate. With all of this in mind, the UK must ensure that cyber security is a top priority.
 
The UK’s National Security Strategy published in October 2010 listed attacks in cyber space as a major threat facing the UK. By placing the cyber threat within ‘Tier1’ (alongside terrorist attacks and flu pandemic), the government has given this issue the highest priority. The importance of cyber security has been further confirmed by the government’s pledge to spend £650 million over the next four years on a National Cyber Security Programme, aimed at protecting both individuals and the national infrastructure against hostile computer attack.
 
What can Regency IT Consulting do to help?
  
Regency IT Consulting comprises some of the industry’s most experienced security consultants and is one of the largest independent employers of CLAS consultants. We have the capabilities and expertise to deliver strategic, comprehensive cyber security solutions to enable organisations to anticipate, overcome and reduce security threats, risks and vulnerabilities in support of their business objectives.
 
The ‘in-house’ threat assessment methodology that we have developed enables us to deliver both Public and Private Sector tailored threat assessments, including technical threats derived from HMG guidelines and environmental threats from Local Resilience Forums. We also take account of information from the Cabinet Office (National Risk Register) and the Centre for the Protection of the National Infrastructure (CPNI). After delivering your tailored threat assessment, we can conduct risk assessments, assist in risk prioritisation, provide advice on appropriate controls and countermeasures and help you to develop your Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plans.
 
As a Cassidian owned company, Regency IT Consulting is at the forefront of the cyber security arena. Regency’s Managing Director, Andrew Beckett, is also Cassidian’s Head of Cyber Security Business Development for the UK market. For more information on our services, please visit us at www-test.regencyitc.co.uk or call 01242 225 699