Feeds

UK net 'more resilient' than other EU states

Lords encourage Europe to catch up

The UK's internet infrastructure is better prepared to withstand attack or natural disasters than many European nations', a Lords committee has found.

The interconnections between national internet infrastructures however mean the UK could benefit from improvements overseas, the Lords EU Home Affairs sub-Committee found.

Their conclusions follow comments by the security minister Lord West last week, who at a Critical National Infrastructure conference said the UK government was ahead of EU nations in guarding against cyber attacks.

"We do not think the Government are being complacent," the Committee said today.

"Our witnesses generally thought the United Kingdom had sophisticated defences compared to most other states."

Advised by Cambridge University security expert Dr Richard Clayton, the Lords heard from international witnesses from organisations including Europol, JANET, the Cabinet Office and SOCA.

They considered a range of scenarios threatening to the internet, such as the type of deliberate DDOS attack that cause wide disruption in Estonia in 2007, and a theoretical failure of the Thames barrier, which could damage vital datacentres and peering points concentrated in London's Docklands.

The Committee concluded that although the internet is widely considered a matter of national security, and so principally a concern for national governments, the EU has a role to play in building resilience.

"All Member States have an interest in bringing the defences of the lowest up to those of the highest, and that this is a matter of legitimate concern to the EU as a whole," they said.

ENISA, the European Network and Information Security Agency, serves as the main EU forum for cooperation on internet resilience, but the Lords criticised its location, on Crete, as unhelpful.

Meanwhile, they said the European Commission's plans for an EU-wide cybersecurity exercise this year were "unrealistic" and "over-ambitious" given the state of preparedness in other nations.

"Instead, as a first step, they should encourage the majority of Member States to have carried out national resilience exercises by the end of the year," they said.

The UK ran a telecoms resilience exercise, code-named "White Noise", in November. The conclusions are yet to be published.

The Lords' full report is here. ®

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.