In a bid to raise awareness of the dangers of cybercrime the Government has pulled in the UK’s top business leaders for the launch of a campaign on basic cyber security measures.
The initiative called Cyber Security Guidance for Business, is a recognition by the Government that there is an urgent need for businesses to take the issue more seriously.
“Currently, too few company chief executives and chairs take a direct interest in protecting their businesses from cyber threats.
“So now, for the first time, the Government and intelligence agencies are directly targeting the most senior levels in the UK’s largest companies and providing them with advice on how to safeguard their most valuable assets, such as personal data, online services and intellectual property,” said a spokeswoman for the Department of Business Innovation and Skills, which together with GCHQ is heading up the exercise.
The guidance, which was launched at an event attended by FTSE 100 CEOs and Chairs, Ministers from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Foreign Office, Cabinet Office, Home Office and senior figures from the intelligence agencies is understood to be the first of a series of measures that the Government will announce in an attempt to stress the risk cybercrime now represents to the UK.
The aim of the launch is to specifically target senior business leaders because the Government feels that they are not taking the issues seriously enough.
By getting the big companies to take the issue seriously the Government hopes it lead to increased awareness through British business as a whole.
“The idea is that they will go away and ask what is being done in their businesses to protect their information assets and what measures there are in place to make sure that their suppliers, customers and partners also don’t represent a threat to them.”
The initiative is part of progressive stiffening of attitude by the Government on the issue of cybercrime since a low point in 1997, when businesses described the Government’s policy on the issue as ’a shambles.’
In a bid to tackle the issue, coalition Prime Minister David Cameron, committed £650m to fight the computer criminals and headed up the risks in his first Defence Review.
A move which has seen an increased Government interest in computer security issues with an associated drafting of cybercrime intelligence experts into Government departments.
Cyber Security Guidance for Business consists of what the Government is styling ‘three products,’ a series of booklets the Government has devised to help businesses become more secure.
The first is a series of questions for senior executives designed to get them to identify critical information assets, and ask what has been done to protect them.
The second, dubbed an Executive Companion, is a primer laying out the threat posed by cyber security to UK businesses and the UK economy including anonymous real-life case studies and what needs to be done to protect against the economy against the crimewave.
The third is a back up to the Executive Companion giving detailed cyber security information and advice for 10 critical areas.
According to the Government: “If implemented as a set it can substantially reduce the cyber risk by helping to prevent or deter the majority of types of attacks.
For each of these 10 areas, we have summarised the issue, outlined the potential risks and provided some practical measures and advice to reduce these risks. The material integrates the “Top 20 Critical Controls for Effective Cyber Defence” as endorsed by CPNI.
For copies of the Government advice click on: http://www.bis.gov.uk/policies/business-sectors/cyber-security/downloads.