Defence – why cyber is now a critical concern

Keeping the country secure against a growing cyber threat is a major challenge explored here by Tony Boyle, BT’s Business Development Director – Defence.

For the country to stay secure, the MoD and industry need to work together to defend against a growing, and increasingly sophisticated, cyber threat. Here’s how we’re helping these two sectors come together.

DSIC 2017

The 14th annual Defence and Security Information Circle (DSIC 2017) was a fascinating meeting of minds, as people from the MoD and defence sector came together with figures from industry to discuss how to meet the cyber threat.

This meeting took place against the backdrop of a cyber threat that has never been more serious or dangerous.

By 2020, it’s estimated that 80 per cent of the world’s population will be connected to the internet. That’s double what it was in 2015. This 40 per cent growth translates to something like 25 million new apps, 50 billion devices and 50 trillion gigabytes of data. And all of that interconnectivity means a whole new threat level when it comes to cyber crime.

With this in mind, speakers at DSIC 2017 were determined to tackle the threat head-on – working out how defence and industry could work together to overcome the dangers, particularly to the UK’s critical infrastructure.

Key discussions from distinguished speakers

The event was split into four sessions, expertly managed by Professor Michael Clarke (ex-Director General of RUSI), with input from a variety of speakers. Air Marshal Phil Osborn CBE (Chief of Defence Intelligence) and Professor Bill Buchanan (Distributed Computing and Security at Edinburgh Napier University) gave fascinating keynote speeches. Air Marshal Osborn gave us the strategic context of today’s threats, while Professor Buchanan focused on the importance of building and retaining the cyber-security skills within a workforce.

The sessions also touched on the opportunities and threats inherent in the Internet of Things, as well as solutions to the cyber threat.

To give you the key insights from the event, we’ve created a white paper – Protecting the UK’s Critical National Infrastructure (PDF, 1.38MB). In it, we look in detail at all the highlights from DSIC 2017.

Cyber defence – it’s all in the detail

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll find in the white paper:

  • The global cyber challenge
    A look at how the cyber challenge is moving from a national focus, to a global one – and why this will create a big challenge for Western internet service providers.
  • The policy challenge
    An exploration of how the global economic crisis has enabled cyber development – and why that means countries need to rethink their cyber-security policies.
  • UK business: new types of thinking
    A focus on why UK businesses need to re-evaluate their risk in the wake of new advances in both cyber crime, and the tools we possess to combat it.
  • Defence and the cyber-skills challenge
    What skills does defence need, in order to overcome the cyber challenge? This section looks at the difficulty of calculating how technical, analytical, operational skills should be balanced.

To explore the cyber landscape further, and discover how defence and industry are working together to overcome the critical challenges of today, download the white paper (PDF, 1.38MB).

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