Brexit Impact on Cyber Security of United Kingdom

Brexit Impact on Cyber Security of United Kingdom

Economy

The predominance of the sophisticated cyber-attacks is increasing exponentially across the globe. According to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey (CSBS) 2018 UK, 72% of large businesses noticed at least one security attack in the last 12 months. The average cost of these cyber attacks in large businesses was £9260 last year [1]. These figures alone showed that such attacks could not only destroy business industry but could also hurt government and other private institutes in UK. Therefore, it was imperative to keep an eye on cyber attacks figures and trends. So that appropriate preventive measures could be taken to avoid such attacks.



Cyber attack is an attack on organisations, employees and consumers which could access or destroy sensitive data or extort money. This could not only destroy businesses but also peoples personal and financial lives. Cyber Security is a state or process of preventing and recovering devices, networks and program from such cyber attacks. A strong and efficient cyber security system should have multiple layers of protection spread across devices, networks and programs. Such cyber security systems could be made more efficient by people who employ smart cyber defence choices [2].

As the debate on the UK leaving the European Union rages endlessly on, it looks as if one imperative question is being lost beneath all the hubbub is that what will be the impact on cyber security of UK after Brexit? Brexit has also brought up a dilemma of whether UK should remain in Digital Single Market of European Union or not. Although due to the current uncertainty about the future of Brexit, it seems like a fools errand to ponder about the future of cyber security, it would be extremely useful for UK consumers to analyse the risks and trends of cyber attacks and security in the wake of Brexit [3].



In today’s cyber world, almost every country is busy making apparatuses for defensive and offensive purposes including espionage and sabotage. The cyberspace is mostly dominated by military doctrine like for some countries national security depends on their cyber security. In a cy- berspace, capabilities of any country could be determined by its cyber attacks, cyber dependencies and cyber defence [4]. Therefore, it is imperative that UK should analyse and update it’s cyber security and stay vigilant for the aftermath of Brexit. The purpose of this research was to analyse the existing demographics and situation of cyber attacks in UK. Moreover, this research would also provide appropriate prevention measures to avoid such attacks even after Brexit.

SIGNIFICANCE OF CYBER SECURITY

The communication infrastructure around the globe relies heavily on Internet and cyber space. Any kind of disruptions like attacks on the networks and security could risk jobs, lives and wealth of humanity. To overcome such attacks, cyber security could protect the information flow in communica- tion networks. To keep government institutes, organisations, businesses and military departments working fluently, it is imperative to research and develop new security policies and practices. Moreover, researchers should also keep an eye on increasing capabilities of cyber criminals and their style [5]. To emphasise the extensive need of a strong and an efficient cyber security system, various deadly and devastating past cyber attacks on military, business, hospitals and government institutes around the globe are mentioned below.



A. Cyber Security for Military

In October 2012, NATO identified an extensive espionage attack which was accredited to Russia and was going on for five years. This attack targeted European and Ukrainian government institutions. Since logging data is mostly avail- able for short duration of time due to legal regulations.

Therefore, it was extremely difficult to estimate and analyse the quantity or nature of data stolen in this attack. Attacks like these forced military forces around the globe to re- alise the significance of a strong cyber security system in warfare. Military forces are now building cyber commands and establishing new cyber defence capabilities to protect their countries. A strong military force relies on its rapid information exchange to make the decision-making process efficient and gain superiority on the battlefield. Therefore, it is imperative to develop a communication network which could not only ward of cyber-attacks but could also protect the sensitive information flow [6].



B. Cyber Security for Business

In 2008, in UK supermarkets, manipulated credit-card readers were discovered. These readers were wireless devices and could transmit the stolen data once a day and then go to stealth mode to avoid detection. This was one of the devastating attack on the UKs retail supply chain and consumers [6].

Last year in UK, one of the prominent pottery firm was targeted by cyber criminals for extortion. The hackers encrypted their data especially pay roll files of employees and asked for 79 Bitcoins. One Bitcoin was worth £2500 at the time, so it was huge ransom demand. Luckily, the company had back-up server data which was not affected by the attack. The IT team of this company was very efficient and worked through the night to build a new server and save their data. Due to the efficiency of an IT team, this company was saved from paying the ransom and had their system running in no time [7]. Such attacks show that to protect their business companies owners should pay attention to establish a secure network. Due to this, there is a huge industry in business sector to provide cyber security. These companies work 24 hours to provide small to corporate size businesses an efficient cyber security.

C. Cyber Security for Government Institutes

The cyber criminals have targeted European government institutes numerous times over last few decades. In December 2015, in Ukraine, a cyber-attack was identified on multiple electricity distribution centres which caused power outages and affected approximately 225,000 customers. In parallel to this attack, phone DOS attacks were carried out on call centres to stop customers to contact power company and get help [6].

Similarly, in May 2017, another data ransom cyber-attack hit United Kingdoms National Health Service hospitals. This attack resulted in 61 National Health Service hospitals in the UK going offline. This attack was stopped by an extraordinary and unusual step taken by Microsoft when they provided an emergency update for the aforementioned systems [6].

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