In late August, the UK government introduced new cybersecurity rules aimed at protecting telecommunication networks against cyber attacks. The rules, which allow the government to boost the security standards of the UK’s mobile and broadband networks, come at a time when attacks on critical infrastructure are becoming more frequent and more dangerous.
Earlier this year, for example, Costa Rica was thrown into crisis after a ransomware attack affected 30 government institutions, including critical ministries and its social security fund. The group behind the attack, known as Conti, threatened to overthrow the government unless the US$10 million ransom was paid. With the help of international partners -- including the United States, Israel, Spain, and Microsoft -- it was able to get all its systems back online, but it took weeks. Montenegro, meanwhile, also saw critical digital infrastructure crippled following a cyber attack blamed on state-sponsored actors. The attack effectively sent some government departments back to the analogue era and was still being wrestled with more than three weeks after it was first detected.
While the new UK government rules may provide a little extra protection against such attacks, they don’t mean that private businesses should take their foot off the pedal. Far from it. Instead, they should redouble their efforts and ensure that they have sound vulnerability management practices in place. In particular, they need to focus on ensuring that their business-critical applications are as well-pro ..
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