With the growth in adoption of technologies (like AI, cloud technology, IoT) to improve and speed up government facilities and services, whether local authorities providing online access to all sorts of records and forms, central government providing digital marketplaces, departments of health providing faster patient access and information or departments of defence using AI and VR to enhance military training, to name but a few, the explosion in the data generated makes it a landscape ripe for cyber criminals to harvest.
The type of sensitive and valuable data governments own has made the public sector a prime target for cyber criminals, and the attacks are becoming more and more sophisticated. Attacks like the unforgettable WannaCry hack on UK National Health Service computers cost the NHS £92m according to the Department of Health and crippled hundreds of thousands of computers around the world demanding ransom payments. And the repercussions are not just financial of course, patient appointments were affected and IT systems had to be repaired. And the coordinated cyberattacks against European think tanks and non-profit organisations that Microsoft detected earlier this targeting employees of the German Council on Foreign Relations and European offices of The Aspen Institute and The German Marshall Fund, are just two examples.
The rapid growth of tech adoption in Europe is one, if not the main, reason for the accelerated growth in cybercrime, which in turn has created a higher demand for the security solutions that can protect these technologies from attacks. In fact the Financial Times has just written that the rollout of 5G presents a “hacker’s paradise” for cyber criminals. And of course, now that more and more SMEs are picking up the digitalisation banner, technological advancements in these tools are clambering to keep up.
That said, a recent press release highlighted the findings from Ken Research into the sheer size and breadth of cyberattacks in Europe (and beyond). The European Cyber Security Market is expected to reach about €36 billion in terms of revenue by the year ending 2023, and businesses are expected to be seeing cybercrime-related costs of about €4.7 trillion over the next five years. In fact the market is expected to register a positive CAGR of 8.9% for the cybersecurity market in terms of revenue during the 2018-2023.
As cyber criminals are using new and numerous techniques to protect themselves from discovery, it is getting harder and harder to track them down. So the best defence must be better security practices and tools to keep plugging that gap which leaves organisations exposed. But even that is not enough: staff training is just as important to be able to spot potential hazards present in their inbox or links within sites, and especially for AP personnel who may not be accustomed to keeping an eye on the very low-threshold invoices or those which don’t require a PO for example.
It’s no coincidence that cyber news is hitting the headlines every day as vendors seek to partner, further develop solutions or simply grow, for example, just in the past few days:
Exostar (one of the leaders in trusted, secure business collaboration in highly-regulated industries including aerospace and defence, life sciences, and healthcare) has just announced an agreement with Japan’s Fujitsu Limited to secure the controlled unclassified information (CUI) exchanged by companies throughout the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)’s global supply chain.
Oxford-based Sophos which makes antivirus, encryption and cloud security products, boasting more than 400,000 customers in over 150 countries, has been snatched up by a US private equity firm, in a deal that values it at £3.1bn, saying “… it would take Sophos private, as it dives deeper into the booming cyber security sector.”
Cybersecurity company, BullGuard, has just launched new BullGuard Small Office Security.
Search platforms like GovShop are a good way to locate suppliers that can meet your specific counter-attack needs, which might be for a firewall, Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS/IPS), Antivirus/Antimalware, Identity and Access Management (IAM), Encryption services, Unified Threat Management (UTM), Data Loss Prevention (DLP) and so on, or even Disaster Recovery should the worst happen.
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