Spooks to show businesses how to fight cyber attacks

GCHQ experts will advise private sector in groundbreaking scheme to counter rising threat

GCHQ, the Government's electronic intelligence unit, is to take a lead role in advising Britain's senior business leaders on how to counter the growing threat of cyber attacks.

A programme unveiled today –which also marks the first occasion the Government and the intelligence services have worked directly in such a way with the private sector – is expected to lead the way for extended co-operation in the future.

The launch of Cyber Security for Business, which will be attended by CEOs and chairs of FTSE 100 companies, ministers and officials from the security and intelligence agencies, follows growing concern over the threat of cyber warfare and its toll on the British economy. It is estimated to cost the country £27bn a year.

The Commons Intelligence and Security Committee concluded in its last report that the UK's defences remained inadequate despite a £650m national cyber security programme.

Separately Jonathan Evans, the head of MI5, has disclosed an "astonishing" level of both state and criminal cyber attacks and that one assault alone has cost a London business an estimated £800m.

The blueprint drawn up by GCHQ will focus on the "Top 20 Critical Controls for Effective Cyber Defence" which, it is claimed, "can substantially reduce the cyber risk by helping to prevent or deter the majority types of attacks". The corporate leadership will also be given an outline of how the threat has increased incrementally and examples of companies which have suffered.

According to The Cost of Cyber Crime report, published last year, the country's business sector is the worst affected, losing £21bn a year in revenue.

The cost to consumers was £3.1bn a year (£1.7bn in identity theft and £1.4bn due to online scams), while the Government lost £2.2bn a year through fraud. The opportunities for criminals have expanded, with the growth of new technology and the internet accounting for 21 per cent of GDP growth in the past five years in mature economies, and the web providing 2.6 jobs for every one lost. In the UK, 6 per cent of GDP is generated by the internet.

The director of GCHQ, Iain Lobban, said: "Using the practical approach in the Cyber Security Guidance will make the bad guys' job harder and won't cost a fortune.

"The impact of cyber threats is severe, both to specific companies affected and to the long term security and prosperity of the UK. The barriers to the participation in cybercrime are being lowered and that trend is almost certain to continue with potentially major implications for the economy.

"A survey conducted by one cyber security company earlier this year suggested that nearly nine in 10 UK businesses are confident in their defences. If that's true, my experience suggests that such confidence is misplaced."

The Foreign Secretary, William Hague, added: "A networked world brings many advantages. But cyberspace – and cybercrime – knows no borders. Businesses must be alert to the dangers."

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint kiss in Doctor Who episode 'Deep Breath'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Danish director Lars von Trier
tvEnglish-language series with 'huge' international cast set for 2016
Life and Style
tech
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Year 3 Teacher Cornwall

£23500 - £40000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: Year 3 Primary Teacher...

HR Generalist (standalone) - Tunbridge Wells - £32,000

£30000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Generalist (standalone) - Tunbrid...

Year 3 Teacher Plymouth

£23500 - £40000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: Year 3 Primary Teacher...

Junior Software Developer - Newcastle, Tyne & Wear - £30,000

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Junior Web Developer / J...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering