London Tech Week debuted in the capital last week, featuring over 200 independently run events packed into five days. With 30,000 attendees the event is designed to showcase the UK’s role as the digital heart of Europe.
Cybersecurity and growth
The tech sector in the capital predicts an additional £12billion of economic activity over the next decade, demonstrating that the UK has a thriving digital economy. Growing digital economies usually attract increasing cyber threats, and as such the subject of cyber security was in the spotlight at Tech Week.
To coincide with Tech Week, 'Information Assurance 14,' a two day UK Government event for briefing Cyber Security leaders across Government and Industry, launched in Westminster on Monday. The event is a staging post in the implementation of the National Cyber Security Strategy, designed to make British businesses secure in cyberspace.
The dangers to both government and Industry were stressed by speaker Francis Maude, MP who revealed details of a recent attack: "I can tell you of a recent case where a state-sponsored hostile group gained access to a system administrator account on the Government Secure Intranet. Fortunately this attack was discovered early and dealt with."
Driving higher standards
In an effort to support a rapidly growing digital economy, the UK has opened the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-UK), a national response team that provides a single point of contact for cyber security incidents. In the first two months of operation, CERT-UK has received hundreds of reports, becoming actively involved in over 80 cases.
Organizations are also being encouraged to raise cyber security standards with the Cyber Essentials scheme. The scheme offers clarity on good cyber security practice and allows organizations to display their awareness of security. The insurance industry is already backing the scheme, with Marsh and AIG offering incentives to certified organizations. Further motivation to join comes directly from Government who will require suppliers bidding on information sensitive contracts to be Cyber Essentials Certified.
Leading the charge
The UK is seizing the opportunity for innovation and enterprise presented by its growing tech sector. As the demand for next generation security solutions grows, companies like Avecto are leading the charge, recently being recognized as a Vendor to watch in the Post-AV era in a report by Forrester.
Andrew Avanessian, EVP Consultancy & Technology Services commented: "We've seen cyber threats grow in number and complexity over the years, with Advanced Persistent Threats getting harder to predict and stop. With data breaches and vulnerabilities continuing to hit the headlines every week, endpoint security practices that focus on defense in depth have never been more important."
In a growing digital economy, organizations of all sizes need to focus on developing strong cyber security practices.
Cyber security should be prioritized, by focusing on quick wins and defense in depth strategies that will offer better protection against the majority of threats.
James Maude is the Lead Cyber Security Researcher at BeyondTrust’s Manchester, U.K., office. James has broad experience in security research, conducting in-depth analysis of malware and cyber threats to identify attack vectors and trends in the evolving security landscape. His background in forensic computing and active involvement in the security research community makes him an expert voice on cybersecurity. He regularly presents at international events and hosts webinars to discuss threats and defense strategies.