An initiative designed to tackle national cybersecurity incidents has been officially launched in the UK to help protect businesses and government from cyber-attacks. CERT-UK (Computer Emergency Response Team) is based on the National Cyber Security Strategy which was published in 2011 and is a key move in "strengthening the UK’s response to cyber incidents”.
The team is intended to protect and strengthen Britain’s cyber security, helping to make the country one of the safest in the world when it comes to work. It’s also intended to better protect UK interests with regard to the internet and to "have the cross-cutting knowledge, skills and capability it needs to underpin all our cyber security objectives.”
Part of CERT-UK’s responsibilities is to ensure that the country’s critical infrastructure is protected, as well as to raise awareness of cyber threats across industry, academia and the public sector. It will also act as a point of contact for international cyber agencies like CERT under the Cyber Security Information Partnership (CISP).
CISP was launched in March last year and is an initiative between business and government designed to share information with regards to cyber security.
According to the BBC , quoting Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude, 93% of large organisations suffered some kind of security breach in 2013. This cost an average of between £450,000 and £850,000, although one company claims to have suffered an attack costing around £800m last year.
Last year a study by security software firm McAfee found that cyber espionage and crime cost in the region of between 300bn and 1tn in 2013. However, it’s been historically difficult to put a true figure on its cost due to the many forms that cybercrime can take.
Some put the minimum figure at 1tn, whilst others believe that number to be the upper limit, However, the McAfee study found that cybercrime accounts for just 0.4% to 1.4% of the global GDP, compared to drug trafficking which represents 5%.
In the event of a cyber-security incident that could affect the UK’s national infrastructure, CERT will issue alerts through its website . Guidance for those who believe they have suffered from an attack can also be found on the site, as well as best practice guidelines.