Cyber resilience in a changing world (Guest blog by Atos)
Over the last few years, we have all witnessed a dramatic acceleration in the digital transformation of workplaces and services.
Digital transformation projects that would normally take five years have been compressed into two years or less. At the same time, customers and employees in every sector of the economy are demanding more innovative digital solutions
There is much to welcome about rapid change but keeping pace with technological change can mean adopting new technologies, often before their vulnerabilities are fully understood.
The increased reliance on connected, online systems has made individuals and businesses more vulnerable to cyberattacks as well as cybercrime. Organisations of all shapes and sizes need be more strategic, innovative, and engaged in the way they approach cybersecurity if they are to stay ahead of these challenges and ensure their success in our increasingly digital future.
The scale of the risk is clear. According to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), in the last 12 months, 39% of UK businesses identified a cyber attack. 31% of businesses and 26% of charities estimate they were attacked at least once a week.
As an example, Atos has enjoyed 30 years of trusted collaboration with the Olympic Movement protecting the games from cyber-attacks. Last year there were a remarkable 450 million attempted cyberattacks at the Tokyo Olympics, which shows the level of threat.
Medical services, retailers and public entities experienced the most cyber security breaches, with malicious criminals responsible for most cyber security incidents. Some of these sectors attract cybercriminals because they collect financial and medical data, but all businesses that use networks can be targeted for customer data, corporate espionage, or customer attacks.
Securing the ‘digital ecosystem’ that exists around each consumer is a key challenge. As the ‘internet of things’ becomes an everyday realty and new technologies, like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) become commonly used by consumers, the surface area for cyberattack grows.
Understanding risk is the first stage in preventing cyberattacks. As recently highlighted in our Digital Vision: Cyber Security 3, whether it is digital transformation or cloud migration, cybersecurity should not be an afterthought. It must be deeply embedded in the architecture of any digital change. This is a message the tech industry must take to organisations in every sector.
Government also has a role. At a recent roundtable hosted by techUK, Atos and Baroness Nicky Morgan it was clear there was still much more that policymakers and business should be doing to secure the interlinking digital platforms that consumers rely on. This extends to updating legislation such as the Computer Misuse Act (1990) to reflect the threats we face today and building on the type of international cooperation we have already seen with the ‘Declaration of the Future of Internet’ or the G7’s ‘Roadmap for Data Free Flow.’
The Government’s Cybersecurity Strategy aims to ensure that all UK public sector organisations are resilient to known vulnerabilities and attack methods no later than 2030, seeking to achieve this through putting in place the necessary tools and support, as well as sharing expertise through the new Cyber Coordination Centre. Business can benefit from following this example through putting controls in place to monitor, detect and remediate problem areas in real-time. Collaboration and sharing of attack information with trusted partners can also help to keep external risks in check.
It is also essential that Government and industry work together to improve access to cyber skills and training. Research from DMCS has identified that the recruitment pool for cyber security professionals already has a shortfall of nearly 10,000 people a year, despite being one of the most sought-after tech skills in the UK.
techUK’s forthcoming second Local Digital Capital Index is likely to show again that many areas of the country have a digital skills gap, preventing many businesses and organisations both from taking advantage of the huge potential of digital technologies and safeguarding themselves from new cyber threats. Bridging this digital divide will play a key role in delivering on aspirations for greater economic growth and levelling up communities across the UK.
The LDC Index has the potential to play a key role in bridging the digital skills gap, identifying the specific strengths of and challenges facing communities across the UK. This is why I am looking forward to working with techUK as part of our Innovating Up project to identify the skills gaps local communities face and then collaborating with local partners so we can take concrete steps to ensure these areas take the steps they need to in order to unlock the huge potential of our digital society.
Help to shape and govern the work of techUK’s Cyber Security Programme
Did you know that nominations are now open* for techUK’s Cyber Management Committee? We’re looking for senior representatives from cyber security companies across the UK to help lead the work of our Cyber Security Programme over the next two years. Find out more and how to nominate yourself/a colleagues here.
*Deadline to submit nomination forms is 17:00 on Tuesday 18 October.
Cyber Innovation Den
On Thursday 3 November, techUK will host our fourth annual Cyber Innovation Den online. This year we’ll explore efforts being made to realised the ambition set out in the National Cyber Strategy, with speakers taking a look at the progress we’ve seen to date, including the foundation of the UK Cyber Security Council, the reinvigoration of the Cyber Growth Partnership and the continued growth in the value of the sector to the UK economy.
Cyber Security Dinner
In November techUK will host the first ever Cyber Security Dinner. The dinner will be a fantastic networking opportunity, bringing together senior stakeholders from across industry and government for informal discussions around some of the key cyber security issues for 2022 and beyond.
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