security-centre

National Cyber Security Centre marks first year of protecting the UK

In the last 12 months cyber experts within the new National Cyber Security Centre received 1,131 incident reports, with 590 classed as significant . A report published to mark the first anniversary of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) highlights the work undertaken by the organisation to help improve the safety and security of online activities and transactions in the UK. The NCSC, which is part of GCHQ, exists as a single, one stop shop for UK cyber security.

The centre acknowledges there is still a lot of work to be done but points out the progress in the first 12 months, which includes preventing thousands of attacks, providing support for the UK Armed Forces and managing hundreds of incidents. The NCSC has also helped to foster a pipeline of the next generation of experts and is working with businesses and universities to nurture technology for tackling cybercrime. According to Jeremy Fleming, director of GCHQ, cyber is playing an increasingly important part in daily lives and in the UK s approach to security, with threats evolving rapidly as technology advances. Our response has been to transform to stay ahead of them. The NCSC is a pivotal part of that transformation. It is a critical component not only of GCHQ, where it benefits from the data and expertise it has access to as part of the intelligence community, but of how the government as a whole works to keep the UK safe, Fleming said. Free Download: the CyberSecurity Crashcourse Are you even aware if you have been the victim of a cybersecurity breach?

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Breaking: NHS IT chaos as systems are infected by malware

Malware called Wanna Decryptor is being blamed by NHS Digital. At this stage we do not have any evidence that patient data has been accessed, the organisation said in a statement. We will continue to work with affected organisations to confirm this.

NHS Digital is working closely with the National Cyber Security Centre, the Department of Health and NHS England to support affected organisations and to recommend appropriate mitigations. This attack was not specifically targeted at the NHS and is affecting organisations from across a range of sectors. The National Cyber Security Centre, which was only opened in February, is assisting NHS Digital. That East and North Hertfordshire has had to suspend all of their non-urgent activity and shut down A&E is a testament to how much they rely on their data to operate. Jason Allaway, VP UK and Ireland for RES Jason Allaway, VP UK and Ireland for RES, a specialist in digital workspace security, said: It s becoming more common an occurrence to see ransomware attacks against healthcare organisations; after all, they are a prime target for attackers due to the nature of the data they hold. It s not just a monetary loss when it comes to medical facilities: it s far more important. The fact that East and North Hertfordshire has had to suspend all of their non-urgent activity and shut down A&E is a testament to how much they rely on their data to operate. Education, vigilance and proven technology such as context-aware access controls, comprehensive blacklisting and whitelisting, read-only access, automated deprovisioning and adequate back-up need to be put in place by healthcare organisations to both prevent and combat this problem as efficiently as possible. Today s events are clear evidence that many healthcare organisations still need to invest in this integrated approach to security.

Wake-up call Dr Jamie Graves, CEO of ZoneFox, which specialises in combating insider threats, said: The large-scale cyber-attack on our NHS today is a huge wake-up call. The effects of this data breach include hospitals having to divert emergency patients, with doctors reporting messages from hackers demanding money, a clear signal of ransomware activity. It also highlights the ever-increasing importance of having a 360-degree visibility of activities and behaviour around business-critical data particularly for large organisations like hospitals. Because the NHS holds some of the most sensitive data of all individuals health records it s a goldmine for criminals. While we are still waiting to find out the scale of this attack, it could possibly have severe impacts on critical medical procedures not just a case of reputational damage and financial loss.

Fundamentally, the government needs to pool cyber security specialists together to tackle this growing threat to ensure this does not happen again.