Cyber attacks higher risk than nuclear bomb, says MP

One of the biggest threats to the UK at the moment is the threat of a cyber attack, according to a group of MPs.

The Home Office Select Committee has published a report on cyber crime, stating that the UK is failing to stop cyber criminals from stealing data. It also posted recommendations on how to tackle the threat of cyber crime.

Among its suggestions was to step up law enforcement against theft of electronic data by making sentences as serious as if information was stolen offline. Yet the report added that where victims had been defrauded, often banks simply paid out to their customers without reporting the matter.

Keith Vaz, chair of the committee, said: “We are being too complacent about these E-wars because the victims are hidden in cyberspace. The threat of a cyber attack to the UK is so serious it is marked as a higher threat than a nuclear attack. You can steal more on the internet than you can by robbing a bank and online criminals in 25 countries have chosen the UK as their number one target.”

As businesses store a high portion of data in cyber space, many are concerned over the risk that it may be stolen.

With technology constantly evolving and the risk of cyber attacks growing, chief information officers (CIOs) are spending more and more time on security issues. As a result, CIOs have less time to spend on other duties and may end up seeing a fall in innovation and productivity.

Nevertheless, the government has been launching initiatives to improve on cyber security in the UK. An example of this is the Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership (CISP), which aimed for the government and businesses to share data on attacks they encountered and how they fought them.

But while knowing how to counter cyber attacks is useful, it still mean CIOs will be spending a lot of time on this. Unless greater deterrents, like the tougher sentences suggested by the committee, are implemented.

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