THE DIRECTOR OF THE UK LISTENING POST, Robert Hannigan of spy agency GCHQ, has come out moaning about the current state of surveillance and security and stressed that a change has got to come.
GCHQ's trade is one of the oldest in the world, but it increasingly relies on technology. That technology is not always up to the task though, apparently, and Hannigan, who worries about this sort of thing, would like to change this.
He said that the current security industry is not doing things quite right.
"Something is not quite right here. The global cyber security market is not developing as it needs to: demand is patchy and it is not yet generating supply. That much is clear," he said.
"So we need, as a government and industry dialogue, to work out: how to make the market work better; and how to foster a national ecosystem that promotes cyber security and the skills we need automatically."
Brendan Rizzo, technical director EMEA at HPE Security, reckons that the government does the industry and the situation no favours by stepping in and ruining everything. He suggested that regulation and data molestation is the issue here.
"Cyber security is a cat and mouse game between bad actors on one side, and industry, academia and government on the other side. It is well known that cyber criminals constantly share intelligence with each other to better uncover and exploit weaknesses in would-be targets.
"Mr Hannigan's speech accurately underscored the need for these three distinct groups of ‘good guys' to work together to mount the best defence against the real and determined threat posed by these cyber criminals," he said.
"We have seen some security laws and industry-driven regulation have a very positive effect on the protection of sensitive data. On the other hand, too much regulation carries with it the fear that it will stifle the ability for industry to operate efficiently and effectively in a competitive marketplace."
Hannigan warned that the UK is under constant threat of cyber attack and that the authorities are in an arms race against the bad guys.
"Those charged in government with national security have worried about the top-end threats for some time. But I am struck by the increasing concerns people have in everyday life about cyber threats. Our own staff talk with their families and friends about the risks to their well-being from cyber attack," he added.
"There is an increasingly sophisticated understanding in the public realm that cyber security affects everything they do. They know there is the risk both of the highest end, destructive attack, and the constant, death-by-a-thousand-cuts set of lower level attacks. And it is these attacks, as much as the prospect of a destructive attack, that risks public confidence in our digital world." µ
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