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NCSC CEO warns that ransomware is key cyber threat

  • National Cyber Security Centre CEO Lindy Cameron issues call to organisations to take the ransomware threat seriously
  • A collective approach that encompasses organisational cyber resilience and government capability is the most effective way to counter cyber criminals
  • Warning comes in Annual Lecture to the prestigious RUSI defence and security think tank

The chief of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre said ransomware was the key threat facing the UK and urged the public and business to take it seriously.

Speaking virtually to an audience at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) Annual Security Lecture, Lindy Cameron warned of the “cumulative effect” of failing to properly deal with the rising threat.

She also revealed the threat faced by think tanks, noting that it is “almost certain” that the primary cyber threat they face is from nation state espionage groups, and it is highly likely that they seek to gain strategic insights into government policy and commercially sensitive information.

The CEO of the NCSC – which is a part of GCHQ – also warned that for the vast majority of UK citizens and organisations, the primary key threat is not state actors but cyber criminals.

She highlighted the importance of building organisational cyber resilience which, in combination with government capabilities and law enforcement action, is the most effective way to counter threats in cyberspace.

Lindy Cameron said:

“For most UK citizens and businesses, and indeed for the vast majority of critical national infrastructure providers and government service providers, the primary key threat is not state actors but cyber criminals, and in particular the threat of ransomware.

“While government is uniquely able to disrupt and deter our adversaries, it is network defenders in industry, and the steps that all organisations and citizens are taking that are protecting the UK from attacks, day in, day out.

“The protection they provide is crucial to the digital transformation of the economy, and every organisation, large and small, has a role to play.”

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