Our cyber security products span from our next gen SIEM used in the most secure government and critical infrastructure environments, to automated cyber risk reporting applications for commercial and government organisations of all sizes.
Critical infrastructure and its security has never been more in the spotlight; and it’s no different in the EU. The number of cyber disruptions across the globe to key service providers like water, power and financial services suppliers has brought the social and economic implications of such risks into sharp focus.
The massive growth of ransomware has demonstrated the high stakes at risk in the sector. The recent geo-political events in Europe and elsewhere, in many cases augmented by state-sponsored cyber attacks, have alerted governments everywhere of the need to improve cyber risk readiness and resilience procedures.
These observations were highlighted in some of our recent blogs following the issue of joint cyber security advisories by multiple security agencies identifying the profile of common attacks and recommendations on how best to defend against the plethora of current cyber-attacks.
There is the healthcare sector and the ransomware attacks on the HSE in Ireland or NHS in the UK. The Colonial Pipeline cyber breach in the US, and the attack on JBS or KP in the food sector. There is a preponderance of cyber attacks and malware targeted at heavy industries and utility companies.
In each of these cases, and there are numerous similar European equivalents, the successful attacks have resulted in significant disruption or even harm to the broader community. Like everywhere else, the European critical infrastructure sector is now acknowledged as being vulnerable to attack and service interruptions can quickly escalate to economic harm, and impact our safety, wellbeing and health. Adversaries, irrespective of their ideological intent, know this all too well and that is why the increasingly prescriptive nature of recent advisories from international security agencies is not coincidental.
In 2016, the EU drafted the Network and Information Security Directive (NIS Directive), providing the groundwork for cyber security awareness and the formalisation of Network and Information Systems security practices and procedures across the critical infrastructure sector. Since that time, however, the range of industries that constitute that sector has expanded considerably; as have the risks of cyber attack. The original implementation, following enactment in the various EU states proved to be a time-consuming process. Some highly regulated industries (such as finance in the UK) already had regulatory regimes which needed to be taken into account; while other sectors required a regulator be appointed.
Necessarily, legislation and regulation preceded the adoption of guidance and standards and while it was a prescient initiative, its adoption was a somewhat “bumpy” process.
In the face of the rising risk of attack against infrastructure organisations, especially from ransomware and malware; and given the political atmosphere in Europe, NIS2 tightens and strengthens the controls and procedures required:
“… flagging cybersecurity incidents to authorities within 24 hours, patching software vulnerabilities, and readying risk management measures to secure networks, failing which can incur monetary penalties.”
In the NIS2 draft the Council of the European Union notes that cyber security preparedness and the effectiveness of those efforts are now more essential than ever for the proper functioning of network and information systems.
NIS2 anticipates significant changes in cyber culture and regulatory approach to cyber security. It introduces a risk management approach to cyber security together with a baseline list of cyber security elements (hygiene requirements) as well as IT risk assessment provisions for supply chain and 3rd party suppliers.
In many respects this echoes the requirements and advice from other governments to their constituents and business communities. The expanded set of critical infrastructure organisations will need to harden their cyber security posture – assessing vulnerabilities and updating their software and security controls in order to more quickly detect and respond to these attacks.
The growing frequency of joint advisories from government security agencies demonstrates, quite clearly, that intelligence communities everywhere are worried about an increasingly common set of attack risks. We blogged about these here and here.
In essence, these objectives can be condensed into:
And so, in May 2022, the European parliament provisionally agreed to adopt the new NIS2 Directive. Meaning a process of ratification, enactment, standardisation and implementation of cyber security processes and procedures can commence across the EU nations.
The NIS2 Directive brings Europe into closer alignment with a number of other nations and for its citizens that rely on the key services of critical infrastructure businesses, this will improve the state of cyber security and heighten the level of cyber resilience in the sector. To do so, the Directive expects greater cyber security preparedness and security control effectiveness by organisations to better protect the sector and the community they serve.
The UK market has its own regulators, security standards and challenges. And while rulings from SEC in the US or the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) in Australia don’t apply to UK companies, for the most part, the observations are undoubtedly relevant and the resulting advice instructive. It would be wrong to think UK financial […]Read more
<<< Part 2a: Australia’s Essential Eight: Beyond Endpoint Control <<< Part 2b: Activating UK NCSC & US NIST Guidelines: Beyond Endpoint Control Part 4: Systematic Measurement of Cyber Controls >>> As much as we invest into cyber security controls, external threats are inevitable. In a recent Notifiable Data Breaches Report from the Office of the […]Read more
Keen campers, scouts and even the Swiss Army know – that a good penknife is indispensable. This simple device has mitigated many a disaster at one point in time or another. Whether it’s to cut through a bit of string, tighten a screw or simply to solve the problem of no bottle opener in the […]Read more
Supply chain risk is an area of cyber security that demands the ongoing attention of every enterprise; because it can make the difference between being resilient or not. It’s no surprise that insurers warn that the vulnerability of supply chains is potentially a systemic risk that can quickly propagate across supply chain dominated industries. Organisations […]Read more
It took a “tripartite cyber assessment” by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) to identify that a sample of financial organisations had inadequate cyber security: poor security control management, a lack of business recovery planning and inadequate 3rd party risk assessment. Why were there gaps? Where is the failure? Clearly the common practice of unsubstantiated […]Read more
The discussion over data-driven vs qualitative cyber security assessment has been going for some time. Nowadays, it is at the top of the priority list for many security and senior executive teams. Managing cyber security has always been a noble ambition but without reliable measurement, the lack of actionable information makes evidence-based management decisions almost […]Read more
Attack Surface Management (ASM) characterises a business’s security risks as the monitoring and risk mitigation of a constantly changing and vulnerable “risk-surface”. Importantly, this attack surface extends to both internal and external assets and services. Some ASM solutions deliver clear visibility across both Internet facing and internal assets. Others do not. Instead, they assess external […]Read more
The UK Government has released its annual “Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2023”. It provides some valuable insights into how cyber security is currently being managed in the UK, by a range of organisations. It also speaks to how current competing economic priorities are impacting the effectiveness of some cyber security management efforts. The full report […]Read more
Solving the mismatch between cyber security reporting and directors’ requirements You are undoubtedly familiar with the headlines; you may have even become in part desensitised to them: ‘Cyber-attacks are increasingly damaging’, or ‘large amounts of personal data are most at risk’. The important take-away, however, is that modern day thieves can easily gain access to […]Read more
A system to address the untrustworthy security environment Zero trust approaches to security have been talked about for a while; but in recent times they have certainly gained more currency. As a model for protecting data and services, the simplicity of the concept is its biggest strength – assume, as a default position, there is […]Read more
Read by directors, executives, and security professionals globally, operating in the most complex of security environments.