UK government’s ransomware failures leave country ‘exposed and unprepared’


The UK government has been accused by a parliamentary committee of adopting a “burying its head in the sand” strategy by burying its head in the sand in the face of the “significant and imminent” national cyber threat posed by ransomware.

These criticisms follow the publication on Monday by the government of its official response to a report ” from the Joint Committee on National Security Strategy (JCNSS) which warned that the government’s failures meant there was a “high risk” that the country could face “a catastrophic ransomware attack at any time”.

The JCNSS report made a series of recommendations in December and was particularly critical of former Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who it said “showed no interest in the subject” while his department claimed to be the government’s leader on the issue.

In its official response on Monday, the government rejected key recommendations from the JCNSS report – including that the Home Office be stripped of responsibility for tackling ransomware – and argued that its existing regulations and strategy current national cybersecurity were sufficient.

On Monday, MP Dame Margaret Beckett, chair of the committee, said it was unsurprising that the government was not focusing on preparing “for the recognized and extremely high risk of a destructive and extremely costly cyber-attack against the United Kingdom”, noting that a similar risk assessment had been carried out for a pandemic, despite which “our national response… could rightly be described as chaotic”.

Beckett said the government’s response to the JCNSS report made it “increasingly clear that the government does not know the scale or costs of cyberattacks across the country – despite us being the third worst hit country by cyberattacks on the world – and that he has no intention. to proportionally increase the stakes or resources in response.

As Previously reported According to Recorded Future News, ransomware attacks are reaching record levels in the UK, with almost as many frequencies in the first six months of last year as there were in the year before – the central and local government reporting more attacks during this period. that they’ve never had it before.

On Monday, the commission expressed its “deep and continuing concerns” that the government’s “short-termism and lack of preparation and planning” risked “a seriously damaging ransomware attack – with consequences that range from continued damage to the economy and productivity to the economy. real possibility of a national emergency.

Beckett asked: “If the government insists on implementing the burying its head in the sand strategy for national cybersecurity – based on legislation passed before the arrival of the internet, centered on a ministry which appears to be struggling to instigate much interest in the issue, and in stark contrast to cybersecurity. attackers who are incredibly well-coordinated and well-resourced – where is the proactive national security response supposed to come from to protect the UK?

“The UK is and will remain exposed and unprepared if it continues with this approach to tackling ransomware. This Government response is not the reassurance the Committee is seeking or the country needs, and all responsible and coordinating departments would benefit from stepping away and reconsidering how the UK should defend itself against this threat most pernicious.

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