The government has put together a dedicated team to deal with large-scale cyber-attacks.
The UK Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-UK) will be tasked with keeping the country’s industries, universities and government secure against the threats posed by hackers.
More than 90 per cent of businesses affected in 2013
According to Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude, more than 90 per cent of large businesses were attacked by cyber-criminals in 2013, with the incidents costing an average of £450,000 – £850,000. At the launch event, he also claimed that one firm had lost £800 million worth of revenue after a major breach.
Mr Maude was quoted by telegraph.co.uk as saying: “Cyber threats to the UK are diffuse, unpredictable and generally anonymous. They could come from organised criminals based in another continent; or they could come from a teenage computer hacker closer to home.
“The cyber hacker needs to succeed only once, but those protecting us must be successful all the time; around the clock, day after day, week after week. And of course, nothing in the digital world ever stands still.”
Advice service for businesses
While CERT-UK was launched this week, the project has been in development for a number of months. At the end of 2013, cyber-crime expert Chris Gibson was appointed to lead the team.
It is thought that the government has set £860 million aside to work on the UK’s cyber-defences, although it hasn’t said exactly how much is going to CERT-UK specifically.
The team, which will be based in London, is set to comprise 55 people and will also offer an advice service for businesses.