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Action Over Cyber Threats “Long Overdue” Says GCI

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New Government moves to ‘strike back’ against cyber criminals are welcome but long overdue, according to GCI.

GCI said that while the £1.9bn package of measures announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond will bolster the UK’s cyber defences, criminals are still streets ahead in terms of the technology & methods they use to carry out cyberattacks.

And the firm said that businesses need to take more responsibility for securing their own IT systems and data, rather than burying their heads in the sand and leaving themselves vulnerable to attack.

Mr. Hammond warned that outdated computer systems are allowing malicious hackers to target everyone from “companies at board level to individuals in their living rooms”.

He said that even though Britain is already an acknowledged global leader in cyber security thanks to the Government’s investment of more than £860m over the course of the last Parliament, it must now keep up with the scale and pace of emerging threats.

Cybercrime currently costs the global economy about £365bn a year and rising, due to society becoming more vulnerable because of the way in which devices connect.

The new money – which more than doubles the amount set out for a similar strategy in 2011 – will be used to improve automated defences to safeguard individuals and businesses, support the cyber security industry and deter attacks from hackers.

Mr. Hammond made the announcement at the recent Future Decoded event, Microsoft’s annual two-day digital business expo, of which GCI was a headline sponsor.

Adrian Thirkill, CEO at GCI, said: “Cybercrime is a huge – and rapidly-growing – threat to businesses of all sizes, which makes increasing awareness of cyber security and its importance to local businesses an urgent priority. It’s good to see that the Government stands ready to strike back against the hackers with a £1.9bn package of measures to boost our cyber defences.

“Old legacy IT systems used by many businesses across the UK are becoming increasingly susceptible to cyber criminals, who find them easier to crack than newer networks which have the latest security technologies built in.

“Securing network connectivity and protecting customer and corporate applications which sit within it is increasingly mission-critical and it’s vital that all businesses take responsibility for shoring up their defences against potential attacks. This doesn’t mean buying more ‘magic amulets’ from the multitude of security companies who are of course incentivised to make things sound as scary as possible. Security means ensuring you have the experience, expertise and tools to be proactive in defending against becoming a victim of cybercrime and more importantly making sure it’s embedded within your own business culture and processes.

“Whilst the UK Government and the fledgling National Cyber Security Centre are working towards a cure, the number of symptoms to be addressed seems to be multiplying. The extent of malicious attacks is growing fast and threatens both reputation, sales and profitability. GCI’s expertise can help businesses to secure their IT perimeters, help mitigate the risk and ensure protection.”