A lack of expertise is hurting the UK government’s cyber preparedness

The war against Ukraine has brought cyber-readiness issues to the fore within government organizations and Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) owners or providers, but particularly in the UK, such bodies face major challenges in areas around skills and expertise that are emerging obstacles to improvement.

This is according to a report produced in late 2021 by Trellix – the artist formerly known as McAfee – and pollster Vanson Bourne, who solicited the opinions of hundreds of security experts at government agencies and CNI organizations in France, Germany and the UK. Although the fieldwork was conducted months before Russia attacked Ukraine, the war-related issues it raised are significant.

“Cyber ​​attacks are just as much a part of modern warfare as the use of physical weapons. Attacks on critical infrastructure are nothing new, but the past few months have opened more eyes to the activities of many governments and hacking groups, as they directly target the assets and systems critical to a country’s economic security, security, and public health are,” said Trellix Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Vice President Fabien Rech.

Trellix found that 41% of UK respondents said a lack of human resources was the biggest barrier to implementing new cyber solutions, while 39% cited a lack of trusted support partner providers and 35% said they had sufficient implementation know-how. how was missing.

In France, security experts tended to see bidding and bidding processes as more of a problem, but also cited a lack of trusted partners, budget, and cyber ignorance in corporate governance. German responders also had problems with alerts and similar problems as the British and French.

From a technology perspective, UK-based respondents cited Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) and Extended Detection and Response (XDR) and cloud security modernization as the most mature defense solutions, with 37% saying they were “fully deployed” in this area be. Zero Trust was cited at 32% and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) was cited by 31% – Brits also tended to find MFA more difficult than average to implement.

The French, on the other hand, fare much better on MFA: 47% of respondents said they had full deployment, 35% said they had full EDR-XDR deployed, and 33% and 30% said cloud modernization Having security fully implemented Zero trust or

In contrast, Germans tend to do better on cloud security modernization, with 40% having fully implemented it, followed by Zero Trust at 32%, MFA at 30%, and EDR-XDR at 27%.

Supply chain risk and government support

Elsewhere, respondents from all three countries tended to describe risk management and software supply chain processes as difficult to implement, especially in the face of high-profile incidents like the SolarWinds attack, and there was consensus that there was a lack of oversight how and where security products are developed.

Majorities from each country also agreed that it was up to governments to impose higher standards in software cybersecurity, although this was tempered by concerns that government proposals and deadlines, among other things, would be difficult to meet and that too much oversight would harm their ability to think for yourself.

However, respondents strongly supported formalized government-led security initiatives, as they all believed such programs would lead to improved protection.

Overwhelming majorities in each country also called for better public-private sector collaboration and collaboration on safety issues – Britons, incidentally, were particularly keen on mandatory incident reporting and liability protection, and respondents from all three countries tended to favor more defined collaboration and support during ongoing attacks.

Rech specifically noted the UK’s ambitions to be a “leading cyber power” by 2030, but said cybercriminals and nation-state adversaries alike were upping the ante so this needs to be accelerated.

“Government-led initiatives have an important role to play, but it will also be up to organizations in all sectors — particularly in critical infrastructure — to facilitate the sharing of threat intelligence and make the most of advanced cybersecurity technology and the adaptive protection it enables,” said he.

“Static, siled security is no match for the agile approach of cybercriminals and nation-states to their dirty tactics. As well as working together, the government and UK organizations need to ensure their security teams are able to respond quickly with security that detects, stops and quickly adapts to incoming threats. This will be critical for government agencies and critical infrastructure providers to remain resilient and ready to defend against new attacks coming their way.”

Trellix’ full report can be downloaded here for further investigation.

New Technology Era

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