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Each year the UK’s NCSC, like many other intelligence and government agencies, releases a report on the year – its activities and successes, the challenges and changing environment. The report is available here and a summary is also available.
For NCSC this year’s report comes at an interesting time. The war in Ukraine has brought cyber security into sharp focus as Russian land and air assault has been accompanied by a wide range of cyber-attacks on Ukraine and its western allies.
The scourge of ransomware may not be rising at its earlier peaks, but it is still a primary focus for businesses and cyber security insurance providers. Good controls mean less risk.
The regulatory picture continues to vary across the globe as laws on privacy, corporate governance, communications and network protection adapt to the changing world.
The NCSC report is divided into three areas, but across all these, there is one undeniable trend that is evident: Cyber security is growing, and in every direction.
Some examples of NCSC’s achievements and updates are given below.
The threat landscape is broadly recognised as being a dynamic and expanding terrain. New attacks, new technologies, new ways to monetise attacks, state sponsored attacks based on geopolitical motivations, are all factors we have to deal with.
The NCSC report highlights several ways in which they have had to increase their advice and guidance to account for this growing problem:
Resilience refers to the ability of businesses and systems to survive and contain or minimise the impacts of a cyber-attack; to avoid what could be an easily detected and solved problem turning into a major crisis.
Here again, the numbers of incidents and the scale of increases in these makes some chilling reading:
Finally, NCSC reported some facts on the ecosystem, as they refer to it. The commercial, professional, service provision and educational establishments that play a role in cyber security. This is less relevant to individuals and companies per se, but does highlight the continued growth in the scale of problem-solving capability (in direct response to the growing problem).
They point to an increase in cyber security companies (up 24%) i.e. vendors, MSSPs, consultants etc.
There are now 63 certified/approved postgraduate/graduate university courses available in the UK.
Investment in NCSC-supported cyber security start-ups increased from £100m to £422m.
As stated above, this report is a summary of, and “round of applause” for, the work done by NCSC itself. The underlying picture however, is of a growing problem, and an industry and profession and solution space that is growing in parallel.
Three things seem clear:
Although this report focusses on the UK, it is also fair to assert that this same picture is repeated in other nations’ cyber security industries – Australia, United States, New Zealand Canada and across Europe in particular.
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