Cybersecurity: the same old same old? (19 March 2013)

2013 promises to be an interesting year for the world of cybersecurity: there is no doubt the same old same old attacks will continue to happen on a second-by-second basis.

Businesses and individuals that don’t concentrate on even the basics will continue to fall victim to even simple attacks; it’s estimated that every year cybercrime costs the UK economy £27bn with UK businesses losing £21bn, affecting more than 1.8million people. IP theft and espionage are – believe it or not – the greatest threats at £9.2bn and £7.5bn in 2012!

Many 2013 cyberthreats are already well anticipated and the same old same old; but by 2014 will significant new methods of cybercrime emerge? These new threats might include using Internet connected devices to actually carry out physical crimes, including murders; or cybercriminals leveraging mobile device Near Field Communications (NFC) to wreak havoc with banking and e-commerce. More hackers, more hats.

There are certainly some big things happening this year, especially in the Government cybersecurity arena; the UK Government has made it plain in its Cyber Security Strategy that they are intent on fighting back. No warfare can be conducted by defence alone and it is high time some teeth are shown.

2013 should see the start of cyber exploitation whereby Government takes some brave decisions to go after the bad guys with more than just physical means. But do we have the technology to seek and destroy those intent on doing the UK harm – all in the cyber world? Do we have the political will to do it and standby the consequences?

Find out some answers to these questions – and a lot more – at the Real Time Club dinner on March 19th where Professor Brian Collins, one-time Chief Scientist and Technical Director at GCHQ will present his own views on whether cybersecurity is still the same old same old or perhaps not?

Professor Brian S Collins, CB, FREng, FBCS, CITP, FIET, C Eng, FIOP, FICE, FRSA, RCDS, MA, DPhil

Professor Brian Collins is currently Professor of Engineering Policy at UCL. Between 2006 and 2011 he was the Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department for Transport and for the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS). He was also Professor of Information Systems at Cranfield University. Brian has been the Global CIO for the law firm Clifford Chance, Head of IT for the Wellcome Trust and – most relevant to this evening’s dinner, Chief Scientist and Technical Director at GCHQ. Until recently he chaired the Engineering and Interdependency Expert Group for Infrastructure UK in Her Majesty’s Treasury. He was bestowed the Honour of Companion of the Bath (CB) in the 2011 New Year’s Honours list and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2009. He holds a MA in Physics and a D.Phil in Astrophysics from Oxford University.