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Cyber summit launches with report showing growing threat to UK businesses

PUBLISHED: 11:29 17 April 2018

GCHQ, Cheltenham (c) davidmartyn / Getty Images

GCHQ, Cheltenham (c) davidmartyn / Getty Images

davidmartyn

The NCSC welcomes specialists from across government, industry and law enforcement to the start of their flagship CYBERUK 2018 summit in the Manchester Central Convention Complex

Criminals are launching more online attacks on UK businesses than ever before, it has been revealed in a report published to mark the start of the country’s biggest cyber security conference.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which is part of GCHQ, will welcome specialists from across government, industry and law enforcement to the start of their flagship CYBERUK 2018 summit in the Manchester Central Convention Complex.

The Cyber Threat to UK Business’, jointly authored by the NCSC and the National Crime Agency (NCA) in collaboration with industry partners, has been published to mark the start of the conference.

The report details some of the biggest cyber attacks from the last year and notes that risks to UK businesses continue to grow. Emerging threats are also highlighted, such as theft from cloud storage and cryptojacking, in which computers are hijacked to create crypto currencies such as bitcoin.

The report acknowledges that a basic cyber security posture is no longer enough and most attacks will be defeated by organisations which prioritise cyber security and work closely with government and law enforcement.

Ciaran Martin, Chief Executive of the NCSC, said: “We are fortunate to be able to draw on the cyber crime fighting expertise of our law enforcement colleagues in the National Crime Agency.

“This joint report brings together the combined expertise of the NCA and the NCSC. The key to better cyber security is understanding the problem and taking practical steps to reduce risk.

“This report sets out to explain what terms like cryptojacking and ransomware really mean for businesses and citizens, and using case studies, shows what can happen when the right protections aren’t in place”

The Cyber Threat to UK Business report notes that firms are under increasing threat from ransomware, data breaches and supply chain weaknesses which can mean serious financial and reputational damage.

It sites real-life case studies from businesses damaged by cyber crime, including ransomware attacks that have affected companies ranging from multi-national firms to independent restaurants.

While law enforcement and government have successfully battled many cyber threats this year, under-reporting of cyber crime by businesses means crucial evidence and intelligence about cyber threats and offenders is lost.

Donald Toon, director of the NCA’s Prosperity Command, said: “UK business faces a cyber threat which is growing in scale and complexity. Organisations which don’t take cyber security extremely seriously in the next year are risking serious financial and reputational consequences.

“By increasing collaboration between law enforcement, government and industry we will make sure the UK is a safe place to do business and hostile zone for cyber criminals.

“Full and early reporting of cyber crime to Action Fraud will be essential to our efforts.”

CYBERUK 2018 will see state-of-the-art industry and government displays on the exhibition floor demonstrating cutting edge technology to help the UK thrive in the digital age.

Simultaneously, a series of lectures keynotes, panel debates and workshops delivered around the NCSC’s four objectives – nurture cyber skills and understand, reduce and respond to attacks.

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