In the last few weeks, and indeed the last couple of years, we have witnessed a concerning trend. That is, the attack of local municipalities across Europe. In October 2020, Hackney council fell victim to cyber criminals which threatened to knock them back about £10 million. In December 2021, Gloucester City council suffered a data breach and had to set aside £380,000 to help restore affected IT systems. Further afield, the municipality of Buren in the Netherlands and the public library of Lutry in France were targeted in a ransomware attack.
John Goodacre, director of the UKRI’s Digital Security by Design challenge and Professor of Computer Architectures at Manchester University offers his insight on these events:
“Government organisations are routinely and relentlessly targeted: of the 777 incidents managed by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre between September 2020 and August 2021, around 40% were aimed at the public sector. This upward trend shows no signs of abating.
The Government Cyber Security Strategy sets out how the UK government will meet the threats; by building greater cyber resilience across all government organisations, and working together to ‘defend as one’. All government organisations across the whole public sector are working to be resilient to known vulnerabilities and attack methods no later than 2030.
For decades, around 70% of the ongoing vulnerabilities belong to a class of error that the UKRI Digital Security by Design (DSbD) programme with collaborations across industry, will deliver solutions that can block their exploitation and are fundamental to bringing resilience against these significant body of attacks. It is key for governments and businesses alike to start to understand that DSbD technologies will exist shortly and demand these as part of their future technology deployments.”
In other news, a UK-based discount retailer selling everything from stationary to art materials and toys – The Works, made headlines this week as they were forced to temporarily close up shop and suspend stock deliveries following a cyber-attack. While the company has assured customers that no payment details have been compromised, many are experiencing longer delivery times.
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