Feeds

British biz walking around with 'Hack Me' sign taped to its back

Gov cyber strategy? There is one? Good lord

High performance access to file storage

Britain’s businesses are being left vulnerable to crippling cyber attacks due to a severe lack of security skills, according to a technology trade body.

The Institute of Engineering and Technology found that barely one in ten small to medium enterprises (SMEs) had “sufficient skills and resources in place” to repel threats from hackers, while only half were aware of the government's cyber-security strategy.

Some 23 per cent of the 250 businesses which responded to the survey had no resources dedicated to keeping hostile forces away from their data.

The world was given a vivid insight into the potential costs of a well executed cyber attack last week when the Syrian Electronic Army hacked into the Associated Press Twitter account and sent a false message saying a bomb at the White House had injured President Obama.

This news alone sent Dow Jones stock prices tumbling by 140 points, only to rebound when the President denied the story.

Hugh Boyes, cyber security expert with the IET, said: “With increasing threats to systems and new vulnerabilities emerging daily, we are working to raise awareness among the UK engineering and technology community of the need to improve the cyber security of both our critical national infrastructure and all the technology we use.”

The IET found that only 14 per cent of surveyed businesses regarded cyber-security attacks as a “highest priority” threat and had staff or resources in place to tackle them. Just 30 per cent used software with adequate protection.

Companies were also found to be inflexible and unable to respond to new foes, with firms convinced that "future threats will come from currently known threats", which shows a "lack of awareness, understanding or concern" towards the ever-evolving cyber-security landscape.

The businesses were also unaware of newer techniques or actors, such as RF jamming and hacktivism, although most knew about malware.

To try and beef up Britain’s online defences, the IET has teamed up with various government bodies and spooks at GCHQ to fund masters degrees for potential cyber warriors.

Their pilot scheme will launch later this year and if successful, they will be expanded to bring in more pupils.

The pilot scheme will be launching this year at three UK universities, and there are plans to expand further in future years.

Companies regarded as SMEs must have fewer than 250 employees and an annual turnover not in excess of €50million, according to the European Commission. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.