JCNSS slams UK government's "ostrich strategy" for cybersecurity

11/03/2024 | UK Parliament

The Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy (JCNSS) has criticised the UK government for its lack of preparation and planning to tackle ransomware attacks. Dame Margaret Beckett MP, Chair of the Committee, expressed ongoing concerns over the government's approach, which leaves the country at risk of severe damage to its economy, productivity, and the very real possibility of a national emergency. The JCNSS intends to monitor and follow up on the issues raised in its report, including recommendations that the government rejected.

The recommendations include providing more support to local authorities, working closely with insurers and the private sector, and acknowledging the unaffordability of the insurance market for cyber-attack victims. Additionally, the JCNSS highlights that 42% of operators of essential services don't have the skills or capacity to deliver their obligations under the Security of Network & Information Systems Regulations. Meanwhile, the government's claim that a 21% resource uplift for the National Crime Agency is enough to tackle cybercrime has also been criticised. Despite these concerns, the government has not yet taken any action to help local authorities build the capability and skills to deal with ransomware attacks.

Related article from December 2023: UK critical national infrastructure at high risk of ransomware attack.

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