It has been revealed the fact that the UK could be brought to a halt by a cyberattack at any time. Check out the latest reports about this matter below.
UK warning is out
A new report from the UK’s Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy (JCNSS) warns that the country is not ready to face a large-scale ransomware attack and could be brought to a halt at any moment.
The report suggests that the Cabinet Office should take over the responsibility of tackling ransomware attacks from the Home Office, which it accuses of prioritizing other issues. The JCNSS recommends that the deputy prime minister directly oversee this responsibility.
The report also states that former home secretary Suella Braverman showed no interest in the issue and instead focused on illegal migration and small boats.
Ransomware is a type of cyberattack where hackers breach a system, lock access to data and files, and demand payment in exchange for releasing the files or stopping them from being leaked.
The WannaCry attack on the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) in 2017 was just one of the many high-profile cyberattacks that have utilized ransomware.
According to a report by the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy (JCNSS), the UK’s regulatory frameworks are outdated and insufficient to protect against such attacks.
The report also highlights that a large part of the country’s critical national infrastructure is still vulnerable to ransomware due to its reliance on outdated IT systems.
Furthermore, the report states that despite the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) warning about ransomware attacks, particularly from groups linked to Moscow, Beijing, and Pyongyang, the government has failed to invest sufficiently in safeguards to prevent a major crisis.
The Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy (JCNSS) has requested a private briefing from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to discuss the measures taken to safeguard the upcoming general election from cyberattacks.
The committee is concerned about possible interference in the democratic process and has also published a report highlighting the UK’s vulnerability to cyberattacks. Dame Margaret Beckett, the chair of the JCNSS, has stated that the government’s investment in and response to this threat are inadequate, leaving the nation exposed to catastrophic consequences and political interference.
“In the likely event of a massive, catastrophic ransomware attack, the failure to rise to meet this challenge will rightly be seen as an inexcusable strategic failure.
“If the UK is to avoid being held hostage to fortune, it is vital that ransomware becomes a more pressing political priority, and that more resources are devoted to tackling this pernicious threat to the UK’s national security.”
A Home Office spokesperson said:
“We welcome the JCNSS’s report and will publish a full response in due course.
“The UK is well prepared to respond to cyber threats and has taken robust action to improve our cyber defenses, investing £2.6bn under our Cyber Security Strategy and rolling out the first ever government-backed minimum standards for cyber security through the NCSC’s Cyber Essentials scheme.