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Major life-threatening cyber attack on UK ‘in little doubt’

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has today published its second annual review, revealing it has prevented Britain falling victim to nearly 1,200 attacks in the past two years. It also warned of the likelihood of a major life-threatening cyber attack on the UK in the near future. Commenting on this, Mishcon de Reya Cyber Security Lead Joe Hancock said:

“1200 attacks may seem like a large number, but the reality is that this is the tip of the iceberg.

“The majority of these attacks on business, government and third sector organisations go unreported and often undetected. Behind these high profile attacks there are the millions of online crimes that affect individuals every day.

“We routinely deal with these often unreported issues. More needs to be done to support law enforcement in supporting both victims and responders to better detect and recover from them. The NCSC is a critical part of these activities and the UK strategy to become one of the safest places to be online. We are keen to see this strategy broadened with further investment.

“A focus on critical infrastructure is welcomed by everyone who relies on electricity for their business and gas to heat their homes. It doesn’t however help the millions of victims of cyber fraud.

“The recent Facebook breach shows the potential downsides of large scale data collection and reliance on single points, provided by social media to access a wide variety of services across the Internet which can act as a gateway for attackers to further data and services.

“Cyber security practices are not consistent globally and an attack against a weaker link in the supply or data chain can have unanticipated consequences for companies and individuals.

“More is needed to help protect everyday victims of these crimes, especially in the international arena. It is difficult to see how mass cyber crime can be tackled without an international consensus and consequences for nations that turn a blind eye.

“Many of the cyber incidents we deal with have a financial component, often involving the traditional banking system not only cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Driving cyber criminals out of the financial system will have an impact on cyber crime levels.”

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