CyberUK 2017: industry calls for skills boost to fight hacking threats

The Government’s much anticipated CyberUK conference from GCHQ and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has been judged to be a success with 3,000 professionals signing up for the three day summit in Liverpool

by the commentator on 16 March 2017 09:34

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The new National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) received a boost this week following a successful conference in Liverpool. CyberUK 2017 included keynote speeches from defence and security companies from around the world along will calls to action for increased cyber funding for skills and diversity within the industry.

The NCSC’s chief Ciaran Martin hailed his organisation's links with industry and academia, he said, “It's a partnership with a purpose, and when I talk about that, I think about the fact that we are evolving in the way we partner between government, industry and academia.”

Responding to the issues raised at the conference, Paul Cant, VP EMEA, BMC Software said, “With cybercrime on the rise, UK businesses cannot afford not to invest in the right skills to safeguard against attack.

The mark of responsive leadership today, is to ensure that training is in place to prepare employees for the digital shift.”

Thales e-Security’s European chief Peter Carlisle warned of the increasing threat hackers pose to public services via the Internet of Things. He said, “Connected devices will play an increasingly crucial role in data sharing for the delivery of digital public services in organisations like the NHS.”

Carlisle continued, “Our recent research found that one third of healthcare organisations now use IoT devices to store patient data, so it’s no surprise that hackers see this as an opportunity to breach security to steal patient data. This threat cannot be underestimated, leading to life-threatening consequences if medical devices are hacked and shutdown.”

Dr Malcolm Murphy, Technology Director, Western Europe, Infoblox warned of the growing threat posed by hackers. He said, “Ransomware was a dominating trend in cyber-crime in 2016 and is only set to increase, with its commoditisation through cyber-crime toolkits allowing even the most novice criminal to deploy it.

As this report demonstrates, many Internet of Things manufacturers may be contributing to this rise by not prioritising security when building their devices; many are being produced with predictable passwords that cannot easily be changed."

These comments were echoed by Andre Stewart, VP EMEA at Netskope who said, "Cybercriminals are always on the hunt for vulnerable information, that is nothing new. However, the plethora of connected IoT devices in use across homes and businesses today only widens the scope for potential attacks. Against this backdrop it’s no surprise that the threat posed by ransomware is growing, and now it’s up to UK businesses to recognise the problem and take steps to mitigate the scale and pace of changing cyber threats.

“Within today’s cloud environments, ransomware can quickly spread to other users through cloud app sync and share functionality – creating a dangerous “fan-out” effect. In fact, Netskope research has revealed that 43.7 per cent of malware found in enterprises cloud services have delivered ransomware. To help combat the rise of ransomware and an increasingly complicated cloud threat landscape, IT teams need deeper intelligence, protection, and remediation to help them stop malware and ransomware in their tracks. They will also need complete visibility into employees’ use of cloud services, plus the ability to scan for ransomware in the cloud – and to take action to prevent the malware spreading to avoid damage to the wider organisation.”

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